Some Do’s and Don’ts about spending time with Children
If you can follow these guidelines when spending time with your children, whether on a voluntary basis after separation or under a court order, it will be a positive and enriching experience for the children.
- DO be punctual. Lateness leads to conflict between parents and may spoil the visit for the child or be in breach of a court order.
- DO establish a pattern for contact visits as soon as possible after separation.
- DO, where time and space permits, spend time simply being with your children. As an absent parent, this will help your relationship with your children more than organised activities.
- DO recognise that, as children get older, they have friendships, school activities, hobbies etc. and contact arrangements need to take these into account.
- DO deal frankly, but sympathetically, with the issue of new partners – both with your former partner and with the children.
- DON’T question the children about the personal life of your ex-partner.
- DON’T blame every physical ailment on the last contact visit.
- DON’T encourage the children to take sides – it is you who are getting divorced or have separated, not the children.
- DON’T dismiss an opportunity to attend Mediation if issues arise after separation.