Posted by familylaw on 19th December 2011

The break up of a relationship can be a difficult time for everyone and children often struggle to come to terms with changes within the family.

Whether you see your children for half the week, at weekends or for just a few hours, it’s important to make them your number one priority and to be the best father you can. To help, we have put together a few points for you to consider.

  • Be reliable. It’s essential to be on time for visits and to keep to any arrangements you make with your children.
  • Communicate with your children and be open and honest, even if it means answering difficult questions. They will appreciate it.
  • Be affectionate with your children and offer reassurance where you can.
  • Don’t make negative comments about your ex-partner, even if your children do, try to remain neutral.

Spending quality time together

Since you may be seeing your children less often, it is important to make sure that you have quality time together. You don’t have to organise lavish treats, but you do need to take steps to ensure you really make the most of your time. Below are a few hints to make visits a good experience for all of you.

  • Establish a routine to your visits so children feel secure in what to expect.
  • Let your children make the decisions about activities and do what they want to do (within reason!)
  • Keep visits realistic and manageable. If you only have a couple of hours, a trip to the local park may be enough.
  • Focus on your children in the time you have and try to get involved and have fun.

The best things in life are free…

If finances are a problem, some of the best activities cost very little. You can spend the afternoon in the kitchen making a pizza, run round the park with a ball, read together, do some painting or just go for a walk. The important thing is that you are spending time together.

Establish routines

Overnight visits are the perfect opportunity to establish your own special routines. Why not decorate the bedroom your children will be staying in and let them choose their own duvet covers and put up favourite posters. Serve their favourite meal and for younger children bedtime stories are a good way to connect.

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