Supervised visitation may not be ideal, but it's important to do it for you and your child. Supervised visitation is usually temporary. Depending on why your visitations are supervised, the visits may become unsupervised once you have proved to the courts that you can be responsible during the visits with your children. If you have supervised visitations and they either aren't going well or you haven't begun them yet, here are some tips for making the most out of the experience.
Stay on schedule
Proving that you can keep a schedule is crucial. The first thing you need to do is make sure you are never late. If you have to, show up about 15 minutes early and wait in your car. Walk in about five minutes early each time. If you go in too early, it will make it look like you aren't following the schedule. If it is only a couple of minutes, it will show you are anxious to see your children. Never cancel your visitations unless there is a real emergency. Canceling shows that you don't care if you see your children, even if that's not the case. The only thing that matters is what the courts and your children think.
Focus on your children
Find a way to block out the supervisor, especially if it is the other parent. This time is all about your kids and you need to focus on them. If you start arguing or chatting up the supervisor, it will look like you have an ulterior motive and take time away from your children.
Show your children you are interested in their lives. Ask them about school and extracurricular activities. It may be difficult to strike up a conversation if you haven't seen your children in a long time. Keep the topics on what they like and let them do the talking. Don't talk about anything sad from the past, including a divorce or why your visitations are supervised.
Don't talk about the other parent
If you're angry at the other parent, don't make that a problem your children have to deal with. Your children love both of you and it needs to stay that way. All talking bad about the other parent will do is upset them. Most likely, they'll go tell the other parent what you said and your visitations could be taken away completely. Even a small, seemingly-insignificant comment can do a lot of damage.
You don't have to show up with presents for your children at every visit, you should make an effort by showing up with activities they would enjoy. This is especially crucial if the visits aren't at their own home or a visitation center full of toys and games. If your kids like board games, bring a few to your visits so they can choose a game to play with you. Playing a board game will take some of the stress off as well and make breaks in conversation less awkward.
Respect the process
Follow all of the rules that both the court and the supervisor has set. If you think a rule is pointless, follow it anyway. The more quickly you adapt and go along with the supervised visits, the faster they can become unsupervised.
Having supervised visits with your own children can be very heartbreaking. It probably feels unfair, and makes you feel like everyone is looking at you like your children aren't safe in your care. Supervised visits are your time to prove that these accusations aren't true. Keep the set schedule, focus on your children, and have fun. Before you know it, the supervision will end and you can have a normal life with your kids. For more information and tips, contact an attorney who is experienced in family law.Share