Justified or not, your kids may not feel close to you if you don’t live with them. From their perspective, it may seem that it is them you wanted to leave behind.
The only time you have to give them a better impression is the meager parenting time set out for you in your divorce decree. You don’t have to be Santa Claus to make them feel your love for them. Your time is what they crave. Here are a few inexpensive ways to keep connected with your kids.
1. If you and your partner both have kids; you may delight in a weekend without a hoard of noisy children. It is tempting to make sure no kids are there on alternate weekends, so you and your partner can enjoy each other’s company without distractions.
Some of the time, that’s fine. However, you should have weekends alone with your kids so that they have your undivided attention for the short time they are with you.
This isn’t to keep them from sharing you with your step-kids, it is just to focus on them by themselves occasionally so they don’t feel like just part of the herd all the time.
2 When your kids are at your home, stay off the computer and turn off the TV. If you spend the evening talking, or playing board games together, you will give them a chance to have fun with your step kids and new partner.
Kids love to do fun things. Happily, enough, they associate positive feelings with people who are having a good time with them.
You want your kids to be comfortable in your home, and with all the people in it. Getting to know each other in a relaxed setting could ease a lot of tensions between your kids and their step-family.
3 Buy a gallon of ice cream and some cones. You don’t have to spend a lot of money taking the family out for dessert. Making cones or sundaes at home will be more fun because the whole family can participate.
Popcorn is another treat that the family can enjoy while they get to know each other. If you really want to make a big mess in your kitchen, make taffy.
Your kids won’t care if you’re rich or poor. They can understand that you may not be personally available to them every minute of their visit. However, it is still important for them to know they matter to you, and the best way to prove that is to spend time with them.
Doing fun things together doesn’t have to be expensive. It just should happen so your kids know that their feelings about you matter.