Protection Orders.

Use the access that you have.

If you only have limited access with your children it is important that you make the most of it. This is particularly important if you are newly separated and you and your children are still adjusting to the new set-up.

As hard as it can be, it’s important to separate out your feelings towards the children’s other parent and focus on your time and relationship with them. The kid’s don’t have the power to change the situation and they may start to feel responsible for “fixing” it, or they somehow caused it.

DO plan to set this time aside from other distractions like work etc.

DO think about and plan activities that you can engage in with your children before access begins. The playstation, McDonald’s, movies and the like are time fillers and don’t let you spend time “with” your children. They are good occasional treats but are not an effective use of your time, as they don’t give you an opportunity to maintain a relationship with your kids.

DO take an interest in their lives and talk with them about subjects that interest them. This will help you to think up activities that won’t bore them.

DO reassure your children that even though you don’t live with them any more, you still love them and want to be a part of their lives.

DON’T put undue pressure on the children (and waste time) by discussing your separation or access arrangements with them. This is for you and your ex to sort out.

DON’T express any feelings of dissatisfaction that you may have to the children. They don’t have the power to change the situation and you could end up pushing them away if they hear a lot of complaining from you especially if it involves bad-mouthing the other parent.

DON’T create a situation where you are competing with the other parent for your children’s love and affection. It can’t be bought with toys and entertainment and they need to feel that they can give it freely to both parents without feeling disloyal to one or the other.

DON’T try to squeeze too much into a short access period. Sometimes the kids just want to go to your home and hangout with you. This kind of “relaxed” time is important.

Please contact Shore Fathers for more information on how to get the best out of the access that you have.