Court-ordered supervised visits are not a form of “punishment”.  They can be an excellent way to confirm or restore your relationship(s) with your children.  After all, separations are difficult for everyone, especially kids, who don’t always understand what is happening.  Visitation should be a happy event, not a dreaded one

If you have a supervised visit and want to make the most of it, you can prepare in many ways.

Planning for Your Upcoming Supervised Visitation

What You SHOULD Do

Supervised Visitation Preparation1. Set up a visitation schedule you can follow, then commit to being there. Yes, there will be occasions when life happens. But these instances need to be the extreme exception, not the norm. Keep your commute in mind when you schedule appointments.

2. Make your availability clear to all parties involved. Consider a shared online calendar that everyone can access. This will help plan visits and avoid scheduling conflicts and disappointments.

3. Plan the activity for the visit ahead of time. Are you going to the park? Then, be sure to have the frisbee and blanket. A zoo trip? Then, purchase tickets in advance. Planning shows you care and takes the stress out of the visit.

4. Spend time catching up with your kids. Acknowledge successes, share encouragement, and talk about what’s happening in your life (just keep it age-appropriate).

5. Listen to and discuss your child’s feelings, fears, and concerns.

6. Be friendly and show respect to the visit supervisor and find out what level of interaction is expected. Some supervised visit providers are merely there to make your visit easier and to note any concerns.

7. Follow any requirements set by the court or stipulations of the visit supervisor.

8. Be positive. Yes, supervised visits can be draining, awkward, and even frustrating. Remember they are in place to foster a positive relationship with you and your children. Make the most of every visit.

9. If the visit is to be in your home, be sure to have a space specifically for it to take place.

10. Have routines. This helps promote security and calmness for your child.

What You SHOULD NOT Do

1. Don’t make frequent changes regarding the visit place or planned activity. When changes do need to be made, give as much notice as possible.

2. Never speak negatively of your ex. In most cases, avoid talking about your ex at all. Kids can pick up on subtext or misconstrue a statement.

3. Never show up under the influence of any substance.

4. Don’t ask about the other parent’s activities or relationships.

5. Do not harass the other parent at pickup or drop-off time.

6. Don’t question your child’s loyalty- to yourself or the other parent.

7. Watch your mouth.  Do not use profanity around your children or when speaking to the supervisor.

Planning for a supervised visit is the best way to make the most of your time with your children. Making these Dos and Don’ts part of the approach will help make the visits the best they can be. If you are struggling with planning your visit, talk to one of the team members at Family Alliance Services. We are happy to help you.