Posts tagged ‘visitation tips’

No More Vanilla Visitation: Some Ideas to Maximize Your Weekends with Your Children

By Beth Neuman
Let’s face it. Many divorced dads don’t get the luxury of living with their children or even seeing them every week. That’s why it’s so important to enjoy the time that you do get to spend with them and plan activities that will strengthen your relationship.

Whether you’ve got your kids for a weekend or a week, there are a wide variety of activities single dads can do with their kids, no matter what their interests and ages are.

Young Children:
+ Children’s Museum – These museums offer a safe and fun learning environment. There’s sure to plenty of educational activities to keep them entertained for hours.

 +Petting Zoo – Young children are fascinated by animals. Interacting with animals can open up the lines of communication – even with your youngest tot. Just make sure to keep an eye on where they (and you) are stepping.

 +Pet Store – You don’t have to get a new pet to enjoy a pet store. Take time to look at all of the different animals. If you’re feeling like super-dad, you can even buy them a pet. It might be wise to stick with a small hassle-free pet, such as a fish or turtle, or risk incurring the wrath of your ex-wife.

 +Park/Picnic – Venture out to a new park, pack a picnic lunch, and don’t forget the juice boxes, snacks, and plenty of napkins.

 +Concerts/Theatrical Event – If you’re brave enough to handle an arena of screaming tikes, why not take them to a concert or play. Check your local community centers or online for information.

Older Children:
 +Board Game Night – Remember when you used to stay up all night wired on coke playing Battleship, Operation, and Monopoly? Relive those days with your own children. Order a pizza, get a couple two-liters bottles of soda and let the games begin!

 +Video Games – Teach the young ones a few new tricks. Warning: modern video game controllers are much more complicated then the two-button joysticks of the Atari-era.

 +Shopping – Although this might make some kids (and dads) cringe, others love to get out and look around in stores, etc. Be sure to talk to you kids and be firm about spending limits. You will survive.

 +Bike Ride – Why not take a nice bike ride to your local ice cream or candy store? You probably could use the exercise anyway. Just be sure that the kids can handle their bike before you’re a mile away from home.

 +Pool – Cool off and take a break by relaxing in the water. Pools are inexpensive and can keep your kids entertained for hours!

 +Theme Park – Six Flags and other theme parks are all over the country. Just make sure you pick a good day – rain can put a damper on things, but nothing is worse than being stuck for two hours sweltering in a long line.

 +Camping – Map out a camping destination and head for the great outdoors. This is a perfect activity for older children and teens. All you’ll need is a tent, a cooler full of food, a first aid kit and an industrial-size can of bug spray. And yes, S’mores are as good as you remember.

 +Museums – Many people that actually live near or in a city don’t take the time to see the tourist attractions and museums that big cities have to offer. Note: make sure this is something that interests your children otherwise you’re bound to hear a lot of sighs and see a lot of eye-rolling.

 +Sporting Events – Don’t mess with success. For generations dads have been taking their children to the ballpark to bond with them. Eat hot dogs and cheer for the home-team and impress your teen with your sports knowledge.

 +Concerts – Ask your kids about their favorite bands and find out when the next one will be in town for a concert. You might be surprised to find you’ve actually heard of them. Regardless, they’ll always remember singing along with their favorite band with their dad.

The most important thing to remember is that it’s not really what you do, but how you do it. No matter how you spend your time, make sure you really reach out to your child and try to communicate with them. Spending quality-time with your child is essential to maintaining a great father-child relationship after a divorce. They need to know that you are there for them and want to spend time with them.

March 3, 2009 at 6:22 pm Leave a comment