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Quality Time with Kids After Divorce

​This information is included in our Guide to Parenting for Today's Family. Click here to see the rest of the guide.

Divorce can throw family routines into chaos. Things children used to take for granted like getting tucked into bed by both parents each night are no longer a regular occurrence. Help your child feel secure amidst the changes that come with divorce by practicing these age-appropriate principles.

Frequent, Short Visits for Toddlers
Toddlers need to form a secure attachment with one parent in one location to feel safe. Create a visiting arrangement that allows young children to spend time with each parent, but establish the child’s primary residence with only one. Short visits to one parent should occur frequently, with children coming home to the other parent’s house each night to sleep. This pattern provides young children with a sense of normalcy and enables both parents to form healthy, positive relationships with their children.

Structured Sleepovers for School-Aged Children
Elementary school-aged children benefit from longer visits and regular, multi-night stays with each parent. Schedule visits that span several consecutive days to avoid constant moving in between homes, which can be stressful for school-aged children.

Flexible Schedules for Teenagers
Accommodate teenagers’ natural craving for independence and extracurricular activities by keeping their social, school and sports schedules in mind as you plan parental visits. Schedule longer visits spanning a week or more with each parent and provide transportation to and from events so that the teen’s commitments aren’t upended by shifting from one parent’s home to another. Let flexibility and your child’s best interests guide you as you arrange visits with teenage children.

To learn more about maintaining normalcy for your child during and after divorce, contact the Boys Town National Hotline® at 1-800-448-3000 or email us. Trained counselors will listen to your situation, answer your questions and offer helpful advice.

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