One of the hardest things about letting her live with her other family is the lack of influence I feel that I have on her life.
She is learning, growing, developing habits, and cultivating her unique personality without me.
She lives with a different set of rules and standards at their house and we don’t co-parent very well on a lot of those issues. (We honestly don’t co-parent very well at all.)
She is learning to make decisions that will impact her life and I want to be there to help guide her.
It’s hard to reinforce positive behaviors when I only have her for such a short amount of time.
When we are together, I notice so many little reminders that she’s not all mine. What she chooses to wear, the music she likes to listen to, the coffee she wants to drink… I have such a hard time allowing her to express her personality within temporary boundaries that don’t exist when I’m gone.
But I’ve learned the importance of consistent behavior and I wanted to share how we make it work!
Here are our Top 5 Tips for Creating Boundaries During Visitation:
1. Set non-negotiable expectations: establish a set of rules and consequences/rewards for their actions.
2. Choose your battles wisely and don’t sweat the small stuff: allow them to have enough freedom to make their own decisions on small matters. Let them gain your trust and gradually give them more responsibility.
3. Remember that children are impressionable so lead by example: make sure to be the parent you want them to look up to!
4. Explain why the rule is important: all of our choices have consequences and they will learn much quicker when they understand the reason each rule exists.
5. Enforce their positive and negative behavior consistently: when children know what to expect, they are much more likely to comply with an expectation willingly. Set that standard and stick to it!