No matter how much visitation time a non-custodial parent may be awarded, it will not seem enough. After all, how can you ever reconcile to having your entire experience of being a dad crammed into a few hours or even a weekend. However, it is crucial that dads make the best of the time available to them.
These are ways we can make your visitation time as productive as possible:
- Plan activities in advance: It is important that you plan how you will spend the time with your children in advance. You can take them to a children’s movie, and follow it up with lunch in a family restaurant. Or take them to the park, treat them to ice-cream, take them shopping, etc.
- Play the dad: Remember, you are their dad and will always remain so. Fulfill that role by spending time doing things that dads generally do. Encourage them to participate in things you like. For instance, you can take them to a baseball game. Or share your hobby with them. Take them sailing, encourage them to help out in the garden, or plan a hike in the woods.
- Focus on quality time: The most important thing is not what you do, but whether you spend quality time with them. Do not be tempted to cram in too much all in one day.
- Be yourself: Do not worry too much about whether they are happy to be visiting you, or whether they would’ve preferred to stay with mom. This will help them understand that nothing’s changed because of the divorce. Sit back and watch them and enjoy and don’t be over-anxious. Instead, relax and enjoy the time you have.
- Make them feel at home: Create a place for them in your house. If you continue to live in the home you shared with them before, try to let them keep their room. Or give them a corner they can call their own and let them arrange it themselves. This will help them relax during the time they spend with you.