Children After Divorce – Encouraging Children After a Divorce to Visit With the Other Parent
Here’s an issue that comes up frequently after divorce: encouraging visits with the other parent when the kids don’t want to go:
Some children after divorce just don’t do very well with change and the transition can be rather difficult. One of the toughest things that you will have to do as a divorced parent is to encourage your children to go with your ex even though they don’t want to.
Your job as a parent is to encourage your children to go with your ex as long as they aren’t avoiding this due to some type of neglect or abuse. You will be doing your children a favor if you work on making the transition as smooth as possible.
Let them know that you will miss them while they are away but you are glad that they’re going to be able to spend some time with their other parent, and do not let your own anxiety over them leaving show. If your children sense that you don’t approve of them going to see their other parent then they aren’t going to be very happy about it.
If you know things that are planned for at that time, then you will want to remind them so that they have something great to look forward to.
If they feel like you are doing something fun without them they may not want to go see their other parent.
So it may be a good idea for you to keep your plans to yourself about what you will be doing when they are gone. If they ask you what you will be doing let them know just the basic things that they see you doing all of the time, like going to work, cleaning, reading a book, etc.
Too many parents have set limits on what is at their home stays at their home. This type of thinking isn’t one that benefits the children in any way. Allow your children to take things to the other parent’s home that they are familiar with. This can be things like a blanket, pictures, games, or even a stuffed animal to sleep with.
If you have set up certain days that you and your ex have the children, then let them know when they will be. You can let them help mark the days on the calendar that they will be with each parent. Doing this will make it less confusing for them, particularly if you have joint custody.
This means that there will be more going back and forth than switching off every other weekend. Attempt to have a mutual agreement with your ex that the children can call either parent whenever they would like to.
Doing it this way will remind them that they can give you a call later to tell you how things are going. You need to help your child to prepare for staying with the other parent. You can give them gentle reminders such as telling them that tomorrow they will be going with their mom or their dad.
You might want to let them know a couple hours before the transition will happen. It can be hard now and then to put on a smile and encourage your children to go with the other parent.
However it is something you must to do for them to be happy with the change. Some children have anxiety when they are going from one parent to the other. While others experience it with both exchanges since it is the change that gets to them.
Even though it isn’t going to be easy for your children after divorce, they are going to need the love and support of both parents to get them through it. Don’t fail to recognize how important it is for a child to have a relationship with both parents.
You can help your children to get through these things by trying to have some consistency at both places. You don’t want to fail to realize how your own reaction to them leaving is going to have an impact on them too.
While time goes by you will have less issues with these transitions. Now they might still come up now and then, but they won’t be an all the time thing any longer.
Learn more simple parenting techniques you can use in any situation by visiting the Children After Divorce blog post.
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