One of your major concerns after your divorce is that your relationship with the kids is going to deteriorate. You don't see them as often. You don't live with them every day, and you even worry that they will start to prefer your ex over you.
To counter this concern, it is important to be proactive and focus on working hard to strengthen that relationship at every turn. A few of the things that you can do include:
- Play with your kids and partake in activities that they enjoy. As adults, it is very easy to want to make kids do the things we want to do, but they have very different interests. Engage in those things, and they will see how much you care about them.
- Listen to the children. Even if they're just telling a story about nothing, pay attention. If they have concerns and fears, take them seriously. Listen and give them feedback.
- Stay off of your phone. Do not let technology take over your time together. When you have custody, don't just turn the TV on so that they can watch it while you take work phone calls.
- Remember the value of physical contact. Give the kids hugs and high-fives. These little things mean more than you realize.
- Give your kids 100 percent when you're with them. Focus on really being present and enjoying your time together. After all, you have all of the time they are with your ex for work, hobbies and other distractions.
As you and your ex set up a child custody schedule, make sure you take the time to understand all of your legal rights.