When you’ve got joint custody of your children you might only end up seeing them for weekends. It’s not the ideal judgment but it’s what you have at the moment. That was the situation that my parents were in after they got divorced. From the age of five, I lived with my Mom and spent weekends with my Dad (I would eventually live with my Dad, but that’s another story). I have good memories of those weekends because my Dad used them wisely. The parent that gets custody most of the time has so much more opportunity than you to spend valuable time with the kids. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t create valuable memories. If you’re struggling to decide how to spend those precious days, here are some tips.
Making the Most of Joint Custody: Go Out For The Day
Going out for the day is important because you’ve only got a few days to spend with them and you need to do something that they’ll love. Places like Seaquest Aquariums are great for family days out, especially if you’ve got younger children because they’ve got a lot of interactive exhibits that will keep them entertained. When you’re taking them out for the day, steer clear of places like the movies where you won’t get much time to actually talk to them. It’s also important that you don’t see these days trips as a way to compete with your ex, that will only distress your children. Taking them places that you know they’ll love should be your only motivation.
Don’t Force Too Much
It’s important that you go out and do things together but don’t feel the need to force too much into one weekend. Your house is their house as well and they’ll enjoy spending time there just as much as they do spending time at your ex’s house. If you cram too many activities in, you don’t get a chance to just be together at home which is just as important. They won’t enjoy their weekends with you if they feel like they’re under pressure to have fun the whole time.
Making the Most of Joint Custody: Fit In Extra Time
While you do only have custody of them on the weekends, that doesn’t mean that you can’t see them at other times if you’re clever about it. There are loads of simple ways to fit a bit of extra time in during the week. You could take them lunch at school and get five minutes in. You could coach a sports team that they play on, that gives you a chance to spend a good hour or two with them each week. Playing sports together is a great bonding experience, you just need to be careful that you aren’t being unfair to the other kids and giving your own special treatment.
Offering to babysit them is another great way to spend time with them while also doing a favor for your Ex. Doing them a favor will make things more amicable between the two of you which could lead to more contact time in the future.
Joint custody is never an ideal situation but sometimes it’s all you can get, so you might as well make the most of it.
Features image via Pexels.