One of the toughest things when your children are growing up in two different households is how the extra-curricular activities will be handled. Children want to be involved in sports and other activities but this will require a commitment from the two parents. You will have to have to work together to be able to ensure that your child gets to do the things that he or she most enjoys.
When at all possible, a child should be kept in the same area as both of his/her parents. However, when it comes to finding a good job or being able to provide and care for the child there are times when parents have to move further apart. If this happens and you find that you are living away from your ex with your child or that your child is living away from you with your ex, there are some things that you should consider.
First and foremost, priority should be placed on what your child wants. Even if your child is not legally able to go to court and determine where they want to live, their opinion on the matter should be taken into account. Children often want to stay where they have friends and where things are familiar. If you cannot find a job where your child has been growing up, this could be particularly hard for them.
Activities vs. Visitation
Of course each parent wants to be a part of their child’s life and wants to be able to spend time with their child. However, at some point what the child wants also needs to be considered. For example, if you live in an area where there are few activities this is especially something to think about. If both areas offer the same activities, then the child could potentially be registered in different areas for different activities. This would allow your child to have maximum time enjoying what they love and being able to spend time with both parents.
Help Choosing Activities
One thing that parents can do is encourage their children to find the activities that they truly love. Most professionals agree that today’s children are often involved in far too many activities. So asking your child to choose between activities can be a good thing. Try to encourage them with the activities that they naturally excel at rather than focusing on trying to do everything. If there are seasonal activities, the child might consider doing some of them with the non-custodial parent when they are visiting them.
Be Flexible with Visitation
Sure, it might be very difficult for the custodial parent when their child is gone to camp and then gone visiting the other parent. However, since they have the child the majority of the time there is no reason for them to struggle with this decision. Both parents need to work together with visitation schedules to help ensure that your child gets those experiences in life that will shape them, while still being able to see the other parent. Children love both of their parents and it does not matter what happened between those two parents when it comes to the child. Parents need to remember this and work hard to prevent themselves from being part of the problem. Being flexible with visitation will help the child to have the best possible experience and a strong relationship with both of their parents.
In the past, it was far too common for custodial parents to just keep kids busy with activities when they didn’t want their child to see their ex. Instead of fighting, many noncustodial parents chose to not see their children. This ended with these kids lacking in the relationships because they wanted to see their other parents. One of the best things that you can do for your children is to make sure that you work together for a visitation arrangement and extra-curricular activities schedule that will benefit the child. Sometimes you might have to give up something with your child that you think is unfair but doing this will help you to have the best possible relationship with them as they become adults. Your child is not going to remember the things that your ex did to you but they will remember the things that they lost or were put in the middle of.
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