By Nancy L. Rommelmann, Family Law Attorney –
1. Make a genuine effort to exercise Spring Break with your child. A child can feel unimportant to you if you are supposed to exercise Spring Break with them and you don’t make the effort to do so.
2. Advise the other parent well in advance what the plans are going to be for Spring Break so that that parent can assist the child to anticipate the plans you have made for the child and pack accordingly for the child.
3. Create a comfortable transition for a child. Remember a child is being removed from their routine. It can be helpful to show a younger child on a calendar when they will be with you and with the other parent.
4. Exercise this time together. Spring Break is time to share with your child. Don’t relegate the child to an unrelated caretaker.
5. Put a child’s needs and desires above your own. Don’t make a child feel like an afterthought or burden.
6. Make arrangements for activities suitable for a child during extended periods of possession.
7. Ask a child what they want to do during extended periods of possession. Give consideration to their thoughts and feelings. For an older child, make your best effort to accommodate social plans they might have.
8. Encourage a child to communicate at a reasonable time and for a reasonable duration with the other parent affording the child privacy and respect.
9. For families where airline travel is required for the child, get a child’s airline ticket far enough in advance for long distance travel to select reasonable times for a child to travel.
10. Be at the airport ahead of time to meet your child. Do not make them wait! Show your child you care enough to be on time and not put them at risk in a public place.
You’ll never hear anyone say, “I wish I hadn’t spent so much time with my child!” A real parent puts their child above their own selfish needs and wants.