So, it’s time for your child’s first overnight visit with their father. You and your child are probably experiencing various feelings about the visit. Here are some tips to make sure the visit goes well.
Although this is titled “10 Tips for Moms”, it applies equally to if the Mom is getting her first overnight visit with the children.
- Remember your children are visiting their parents. There are no Superparents. Most children love both parents no matter what their parents are like or how they behave, so encourage the visit.
- The visit is not about you. The visit is to benefit the child. Again, encourage the visit. Don’t tell your child how sad you will be that they are leaving. Instead, tell them how excited you are that they are getting time to spend with their father.
- Don’t call them continuously. Most court orders allow the custodial parent to call the child during their visitation. Let them enjoy the time without interference. Not calling doesn’t mean you don’t love them. It means you are respecting their time with their parent.
- If your children are worried or you are worried, don’t show them that you are worried. Be the adult. Chances are the child is not in any danger. Otherwise, the court probably would not have allowed visitation in the first place.
- Send a change of clothes.
- Send their medicine with directions.
- Act civil. Just because you and their father don’t get along doesn’t mean you can’t act like grown-ups. Children pick up on everything that is said or unsaid.
- Don’t interrogate them when they get home. Sound excited when they share something fun they did.
- Don’t disparage their father. No matter how you feel about the child’s father, keep it to yourself. You are the grownup. Your child doesn’t need to learn how to cope with your feelings.
- If there is homework to be done or a project to do, tell the father so he can help during the visitation. Likewise, don’t wait until his weekend to get your child to start working on the project.
Remember, visitation is part of all custody cases. Life is too short to make the worst out of a situation that you can’t control, so do your best to make the situation enjoyable for everyone. Even if you are the only one making the effort.