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Tips for making summer visitation a success

With summer vacation in full swing, many Texas parents are excited to spend more time with their children. For those families who have gone through a divorce, summer visitation is a chance for the non-custodial parent to spend a significant period of time with their child or children. While transitioning from one household to another can be stressful, there are steps that both parents can make to ease this process.

One of the most important aspect of summer visitation involves being available to talk with a child when the need arises. For some kids, stress leads to a communication barrier, and it can be difficult to re-establish an open dialogue in the first few days of a visit. Parents should set aside time to take long walks or do familiar activities, which can give kids a chance to open up. Once a child begins to talk, parents should be willing to listen to their thoughts and concerns and respond in a supportive and loving manner.

Another issue can arise when kids respond to stress with increased levels of aggression. This can be a particular challenge for families in which stepchildren are involved, and where there may be conflict between half or step-siblings. One of the most effective ways to handle aggression is to increase physical activity, which gives kids a chance to work out their frustrations and anxieties in a healthy physical manner. It is also important to provide plenty of physical affection during summer visits, which can help keep the parent/child bond strong.

By taking a proactive approach, summer visitation can be a positive experience for all involved. Texas parents should take advantage of the tips outlined above to help their child or children transition from their primary home to their summer visitation, and also be on the lookout for other signs of stress. As with most other child custody concerns, having an open line of communication with the other parent can be a great resource during a long visit, and this should be a primary goal of all divorced parents.  

Source: thenewstribune.com, "Child Sense: Divorce and the summer holidays", Priscilla Dunstan, June 15, 2015

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