9.7Susan M. Hais

The current trend is for children to have equal access to both of their parents through a time-sharing schedule. This works best if both parents are willing to share responsibilities for their kids. When parents can get along well enough, maybe for one to two hours at first, they can jointly participate in activities with their children. These activities give children a new sense of family. Their family looks different than it did when their natural parents were married. We love these popular activities for divorced families:

1. Family fun parks. While divorced parents may have a limited budget, they can arrange for their children and maybe even a couple of friends to enjoy the family fun park. If there is a bracelet that enables a child to ride multiple attractions, parents can split the cost. This could include go-carts, water rides, bumper cars, roller coasters, bowling, arcade games, and miniature golf.

2. Grandparent birthday celebrations. Both parents can attend a grandparent’s birthday in a neutral location, perhaps their home or a local restaurant.

3. Holiday potluck dinners. If multiple generations of a child’s family will be present, both parents can move around and talk with different relatives. Their children get contact with many people while being aware that their parents are supporting them.

4. Sporting events. Taking the kids to the hockey game is a great way to have a blast while minimizing conversation. The whole family gets caught up in the action.

Co-parenting events are also a place for a parent to bring a significant other after the introductory dating period has ended. These kinds of introductions should be avoided until the parent with a new partner is sure he or she will stick around. Otherwise, children get attached to the potential stepparent, but they feel hurt when the new relationship suddenly ends.

For more details on managing family life during and after divorce in ways that benefit your children, please contact us today.