Co-Parenting Tip: Be Present During Your Parenting Time

Well, duh.  I have to be there since I am the one responsible for taking care of my kids.  Not what I mean.  Being present means being there with your full mind, attention and energy.  While this may not be feasible to do 100% of the time, it is especially important to do if you have less time with your children post-divorce than you did pre-divorce.  Quality of time is much more important that quantity in most cases.  So, cherish the time you have with your children and save the chores, bill paying and work you brought home until your children go to bed or they are with the other parent.

How to “be present”:

1.  Plan activities instead of relying on the TV to entertain you.

2. Get out of the house.  It is too easy to tune out in the comforts of home.  Go to the park, take the dog for a walk, go to the library.  The activity doesn’t matter, just get up and out and enjoy yourselves.

3. Teach, or learn a new skill together.  You will then have a special activity to do with your children that he or she will look forward to during your parenting time.

4. Turn off the TV during dinner and sit at the table.  Engage your children and get them talking about themselves (almost everyone loves to talk about him/herself).

5.  Put your cell phone away.  Yes, you can live without it.  At minimum, turn off your emails and just keep the ringer on.  It is too often that parents are more concerned with the latest post on Facebook than your child’s most recent milestone.

The more attention and affection your children get the more adjusted they will be with the divorce.  Two happy loving parents is the best environment, regardless of marital status.

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