Visitation, Easing The Child’s Transition Between Parents After Divorce.
How have the transitions for your child between two parents and two homes been going?
There are ways to help make visitation and transition for your child a positive experience.
When both parents are sharing having the child come to visit between two different homes, many children who are younger and not driving themselves. This means parents often have to meet or pick up their child at another location.
For many kids these moments of transition from one parent to another can be anxiety provoking and uncomfortable.
To make it easier for both parents as well as the child, here are some ideas.
- Meet on neutral ground
- Greet the other parent
- Positive send off
- Positive return
Meet the other parent on neutral ground.
Meeting the other parent at a neutral location vs meeting at one house or another helps the child go from one parents hands into another.
A neutral ground should be a location that feels familiar and safe to the child. It can be anywhere from a fast food restaurant to their school parking lot.
Greet the other parent.
When you meet at locations like these, be sure to get out of your car and walk your child towards the other parents car so you are actually handing them off from you to the other parent.
As you are approaching the other parent, greet them, say “Hello, how are you” or something that is neutral and kind so that your child hears you communicating nicely to the other parent.
Make it a positive send off.
Give your child a hug, a kiss and a smile so they know it’s okay to be received by the other parent.
As you do this make sure your non-verbal language matches your words so it’s loving and supportive and your child feels good about leaving you and saying hello to the other parent.
It only takes a minute or two for this transition but the minute or two will make a huge impact in allowing the child to feel comfortable going back and forth between parents.
Make it a positive return.
When your child is returning back to you, remember to do these things to receive them back.
Dr. SueAnne Magyar-Hill
Author of Felicia’s Family Divorces
Support System Inc.