Updated: Mar 27, 2019
Click below for the quick video I made about working towards more time with your children:
Hey everyone, I'm Shona from speaksweetly.com, and I'm here to answer all your questions about mediation, co-parenting and conflict.
Today, I'm going to start with the question I probably get asked the most as a Family Mediator, and that is "How can I get more time with my kids?"
It's complex, but I truly believe that if you are able to consistently and reliably show up as a positive resource in your child's life, then you are on track.
If you're not sure where to start with that, here are five quick tips from me:
Number one, have patience. See your parenting journey as a long-term investment and look at each day as taking steps towards the goal of a closer relationship with your children. If you're committed to making arrangements, as well, that fit with the age and developmental stage of your child (or your children), then that increase in time should happen quite naturally.
Number two, stay connected to your children when you're apart. Find ways of communicating with them. If your child is old enough, schedule phone calls on a regular basis, write post-cards, send pictures - let them know that you're thinking about them when you're not together.
Number three and Number four are both about being present when you are together.
So the first one is, pay attention to what your children talk to you about. If they tell you about a school project, check in with them. Remember the names of their friends at school, and the people that they're not, maybe, getting along with so well. Test them on the spelling words they said they were struggling with. Stay connected by just paying attention to what's going on for them.
Number four is, pay attention to their development and their changing needs. What do they enjoy? What are they learning? What are they finding challenging at the moment? What might they need from you that doesn't relate to time? Are you an available and positive resource for them? How can you give them the best of yourself right now?
And Number five might be the hardest one: it is, stay connected with your co-parent. Build trust and communication. Talk about your children. Show your co-parent that it's your priority to be available and supportive with whatever they might need - whether that's emotional availability for your children, financial support, or just physically being present.
So here are three questions to ask yourself:
How am I showing my co-parent that I'm a consistent and reliable and positive influence in my child's life?
What has worked in the past to bring us to agreement about Parenting Plans? And,
How can I do more of these things?
Tomorrow I'm going to be talking about the seven factors that influence a more Shared-Care Parenting Arrangement. So stay tuned for that. Remember to leave me a comment, let me know if this has been helpful for you, and ask me any questions that you might want to ask.
Thanks for sticking around today, and I'll see you again next time.