Summer break is here and so is time for that dreaded custody exchange. If you are the parent sending your children to the other home, you may feel sad that your children will be away for a while or reluctant to let them stay at the other home because you do not get along with the other parent or step parent. If you are “receiving” the children, you may feel excited that you get to see your children again or nervous that they will have trouble readapting to you and your home.
Tips for “receiving” the child or children for summer break:
- Do not compete with the other home. Buying the children costly gifts or taking them on expensive vacations to win their love will backfire eventually. Try spending quality time with your children instead. It will be beneficial for both them and you in the end.
- If there is a step parent in the picture, they might need to reconnect with the children. It may feel like starting over, but if there are long periods of time in between custody exchanges, the kids will probably need to reconnect with their step parent. If they want to spend time with the step parent, let them. If they are distant towards the step parent, find ways to connect with them without forcing it.
- Do not make the children feel guilty for speaking affectionately about those in the other home.
- If the children complain or make negative comments about those in the other home, be sure to hear the other parent’s side of the story first before passing judgement.
Tips for sending your kids off for summer break:
- Plan a call or in person talk with the other parent to set a calendar and iron out travel details.
- Tell your children to have a great time. Giving your children “permission” to enjoy their time at the other home will absolve them of any guilt or fear they may feel with going to the other home.
- It is okay to feel sad over your children’s absence, but do not burden your children with your grief. Missing your children is normal, but do not openly display your sadness to them. It could cause unnecessary stress for your children.
- Stay in touch with your children, but do not contact them excessively.
Custody exchanges are not ideal, but many families find the best routine to fit with their lifestyles. If you are recently divorced and need help navigating through child custody, Murfreesboro Family Law is here to help. At Murfreesboro Family Law, we specialize in child custody and support, divorce, and adoption. For more information, give us a call at (615) 890-3656 or visit our website www.murfreesborofamilylaw.com.