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Visitation Schedules for Toddlers and Young Children - Encouraging Strong Parental Bonds

April 09, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 255

If you are able to create a visitation schedule for your young child or toddler that provides your child with frequent and ongoing contact with both parents, it will be tremendously beneficial to your child. Children who are able to have good relationships with both parents and have both parents actively involved in their lives are generally happier and better adjusted than children who aren't so fortunate.

Once you have completed the visitation schedule for your toddler or young child, you may experience problems executing it. Young children tend to develop a strong bond with their primary caregiver. This attachment is normal and healthy, though following the visitation schedule may require a lot of patience if you have to peel your child off of your leg and listen to fits when it is time for visitation.

If your child shows signs of distress when it is time for visitation, try not to be alarmed. It does not mean that the other parent is abusing the child (in most cases) or that anything bad is happening when the child is with the other parent. Children this age are still prone to having separation anxiety and may become very distraught when it is time to leave their primary caregiver.

One thing you should never do is cancel a visit just because the child is upset. This will only escalate the problem as the child will throw an even larger fit the next time. Small children are opportunists and they know how to get what they want.

If your child throws fits when it is time to go with the other parent, you should do everything you can to ease his or her fears. Prior to a visitation day, you should start talking to your child about the visit and when it is going to happen. You should do what you can to ease any fears the child has and to get the child excited about the upcoming visit. Letting your child know that you think it is great that he or she gets to go spend time with the other parent will help ease the stress and anxiety your child may be feeling. Positive comments about the other parent will also help you foster a relationship between your child and your ex.

It is important to establish a routine on visitation days so your child knows what to expect and grow accustomed to the transition. Both parents should participate in establishing the routine.

The primary caregiver may want to have the child help pack their backpack or perhaps sit on the couch and read a book before they go. The non-primary parent may want to feed the child a snack or read a story at the beginning of each visit. It doesn't really matter what you choose to do but doing the same things each visit will help establish routine and will make it easier for your child to adjust to the visitation schedule.

If you want what is best for your child, you should create a visitation schedule for your toddler or young child that meets his or her needs and then follow the schedule in a manner that provides him or her with stability and the opportunity to have a relationship with both of you.

Kelly Turner is an advocate for children's custody rights. Kelly recommends Custody X Change to parents needing help creating a visitation schedule for young children or toddlers.

Source: EzineArticles
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