Article Summary:Child visitations after divorce are extremely important. Keep your visits and be on time.
Realize three things when you come late, forget to come, or rarely visit your child:
- Your child is waiting.
- Your child is hoping.
- Your child is suffering.
As a counselor, I've asked kids, "How do you feel when your parent doesn't come for his/her visit with you?" Here are three common responses:
- "I don't care."
- "It doesn't matter."
- "I hate him (her)."
Truthfully, it does matter, your child does care, and the hate is really a defense against the pain. Your failure to visit tells your child that s/he is not important.
One dad hadn't visited his daughter since she was two. One day he came into her life demanding visitation rights. His daughter, now a bright, articulate twelve-year-old, wanted nothing to do with him. I'll never forget her cold hard words.
"Why do you want to see me now? Where were you all these years?"
I remember him whimpering and saying something about wanting a father-daughter relationship.
"I don't want a relationship with you," she said. Nobody can make me see you."
I understood that she needed to protect herself from the waiting, the hoping, and the suffering that she had already experienced. She left the session angry and determined. He left in tears.
To prevent this from happening, I suggest you do the following:
- Realize you are half your child's genes.
- Remember you are the adult.
- Know that your love means everything to your child.
- Stay involved with your child.
- Keep your parenting visits and be on time.
Become the parent you were meant to be. Prevent your child from unnecessary waiting, hoping, and suffering. Love your child and stay engaged.
Jean Tracy - "Granny Jean" - graduated from Seattle University with a degree in Education. She taught elementary school in Washington, California, and Connecticut. Inspired by her desire to help the problem children in her classes, Jean returned to graduate school. She earned a Master's Degree in Social Work from Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania.
Upon returning to her home in Washington State, Jean worked as a probation officer and then developed a private counseling practice with families and children that spanned twenty-two years. During this time she achieved a Diplomate in Clinical Social Work.
For more information visit Granny Jean's website, www.kidsdiscuss.com.