Children of divorced parents usually benefit from spending time with both parents. Following your court-ordered parenting time schedule is essential to maintaining positive parent-child relationships.
Parenting time, formerly known as visitation, is the time that you and your former spouse spend with your child. Adhering to a schedule can be challenging. Fortunately, there are strategies to make it easier.
Keep a positive attitude
Although you and your ex may not be on good terms, your child still deserves to have a loving relationship with him or her.
Avoid complaining about your former spouse in front of your child. If you constantly speak negatively about your child’s other parent, it may become difficult for your child to enjoy his or her time with your ex.
Make sure you and your ex are on the same page when it comes to your child’s schedule. Find the communication method that works best for you. A cloud-based calendar can help you stay coordinated, especially if you have multiple children.
Using your child as a messenger for important matters is generally not a good idea, since your child might not relay the information accurately. Direct communication is usually the most effective.
Stick to the schedule
While some conflicts are inevitable, you should make your best effort to plan events around your parenting time.
Occasions may arise when your child does not want to spend time with your ex during his or her scheduled parenting time. Although you may be tempted to give in, this is not a decision for your child to make. Your child’s preference is typically not a valid reason to withhold visitation, and doing so could have repercussions.
Being consistent with your parenting time schedule can help your child thrive while adjusting to your divorce.