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An experiencedDivorce and Custody Attorneycan help caring parents come up with the best plan possible.
Fathers with limited parenting time can make the most of this time by establishing new routines that show children they care.
Each parent should be able to enjoy spending quality time with their kids, even when the parents are divorced. However, after a divorce many Texas fathers end up on the back burner, being relegated to the role of parenting only on the weekends or for a few weeks a year. For decades it has seemed that mothers traditionally gain the most custody with their children. Ideally, both mothers and fathers would have equal custody time to spend with their kids, but sadly that is not often the case.
Any loving and caring father with limited parenting time might feel tempted to make up for lost time by relaxing the rules a little while the kids are visiting, or by frequently going on expensive vacations and other outings. While these visitations can certainly be great fun for father and kids alike, this type of parenting is not usually beneficial in the long run, says the Huffington Post. The “Disneyland Dad” who is often seen as the fun parent may lose more of his children’s respect as they grow older and realize that having structure and routine is more important than nonstop fun.
How to turn custody days into quality time
Involved fathers will find that everyday moments spent with their children can have a much more beneficial impact on their emotional wellbeing than big vacations or letting them spend the time as they choose. When both parents are fully engaged in their children’s school, social and family lives, children have a much better chance of growing up with good self esteem and forming healthy adult relationships. The following are some ideas that PBS and Parents magazine suggest for fathers and mothers alike to make the most out of their custody time, no matter how much or how little time they have to spend with their children:
- During the last warm weeks of summer or early fall, go on hikes at parks or nature trails, or plan backyard campouts.
- Have fun with smaller children in a wading pool, or have a water balloon or hose fight.
- Establish new family traditions such as a movie or game night.
- Have the kids help with preparing and serving meals.
- Involve children with home repair projects and household chores.
Each of these activities has the added benefit of reinforcing family routines, rules, structure and consequences that are so important during a child’s formative years.
Getting help from an attorney
The first few weeks and months after a divorce are difficult for parents as well as children. An experienced family law attorney can help caring parents come up with the best plan possible for their situation, and to serve the best interests of children.