It can be a blow to receive only supervised visitation with your children during or after a divorce. But savvy parents can learn to use these supervised visits to their advantage.
It's possible that, in time and with the continued success of the visits, parents may be awarded unsupervised visits with their kids. While it might be discouraging to realize that a judge feels you need supervision when you interact with your children, keep in mind that all is being done with your kids' best interests at heart.
Below are some tips to maximize your supervised visits.
Strive for natural interactions
Outside observers monitoring your conversations with your child can make your interactions appear to be stilted or scripted. That vibe can be compounded if the visit is taking place in an unnatural setting.
But all is not lost, so don't throw in the towel just yet. The following activities will work even in an institutional setting:
- Read a book to your child. Older children might like trading off reading passages of a chapter book with you.
- Play board games. From Chutes and Ladders to Monopoly, playing a game together is a good way to spend supervised visitation with your child.
- Do a craft activity. Does your child like beading or leatherwork? The two of you could make matching jewelry that you both will wear between visits to remind you of each other's importance in your lives. Making scrapbooks of your memories and time together from birth to now are also good activity choices.
- Fix snacks together. Make sundaes with all the fixings or focus on comfort foods like mac and cheese or grilled cheese and tomato soup. It matters less what you make than that you are preparing it together.
Make sure you are prepared
Regardless of your chosen visitation activity, it's important that you have all the components available for the planned visit. Make sure that any games have all of their pieces and that you have all the ingredients for your recipe and supplies for your craft project.
Parents who are exercising their visitation with their kids in a facility might be able to use some of the games and toys they offer, but the kids will likely appreciate any extra efforts. It's also likely that the visitation monitor will note whether parents went above and beyond to make a better visit with the kids.
Take notes on your visits
Keeping a visitation journal is a good way for you and your Augusta family law attorney to document your version of the visits should any events ever be challenged. Your journal might also be valuable evidence in any future bid to secure unsupervised visitation with your children.