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Tips to make a supervised visitation more enjoyable

If you're only authorized to have a supervised visitation period with your child, it can be frustrating. You don't feel like you ever get to relax and spend time together because someone else is always looking over your shoulder.

The key to making your time count is to have a plan going in. Know how you want to approach your time and what you can do to distract yourself from how unnatural it may feel. This allows you to really bond with your child. A few tips include:

  • Picking distracting activities. For instance, maybe your child loves to play board games like Monopoly or Risk. When you're involved in the game, you're actively engaged with your child, and you're not thinking about being chaperoned.
  • Reading chapter books. If your child is old enough, there are multiple upsides to reading aloud together. It creates great memories, helps your child develop and gives you an ongoing activity that you'll both look forward to.
  • Make snacks, rather than buying them. Instead of picking up a package of cookies at the store, get flour, butter, sugar and chocolate chips, and spend the afternoon baking. In general, it's important to stay busy and focused on whatever you're doing together. You know that you'll both want to share some food either way, so pick the option that takes the most time and effort. It will also prove the most engagement and distraction.

As you can see from these three examples, the key is to focus on ways to really be involved with the child. Don't view the time together as an obligation you need to get through. Look at it as a chance to bond and grow closer, even if your time is limited every week.

With any child custody arrangement, make sure you understand all of your legal rights. Is the visitation going to be supervised forever, or, if all goes well, can you get it changed to a more traditional child custody arrangement? Be sure you know where you stand.

Source: The Spruce, "Supervised Visitation Tips: Make the Most Out of You Visit," Jennifer Wolf, accessed Nov. 22, 2017

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