Integrated Family Community Services 3370 South Irving Street, Englewood, CO 80110-1816 Ph: 303-789-0501

How to Build a Parent/Child Bond Regardless of Supervised Visits

One of the greatest fears parents face in the wake of a custody agreement is that they will lose touch with their child. If you have been given supervised visits with your child, then it may feel awkward and embarrassing to try and connect with them in the presence of a social worker.

Supervised visitation is ordered to protect the child. You should remember that there is a reason why these regulations are in place, and put aside your own feelings of contempt or anger to focus on your child’s well-being.

Many supervised visits are often temporary, and parents who do well under these circumstances can acquire unsupervised visitation rights later. For now, let’s focus on how you can make the most of your visits together regardless of the location and company.

Be Conscious of Your Actions

Your child isn’t the only one watching during your visits. The supervisor will also make note of your behavior, which will determine whether or not you’ll be given unsupervised rights in the future.

Avoid coming off as angry, sad or hostile. Your child will pick up on your irritation and may even think it’s because of them. Arrive on time so your child is never left waiting. Make sure you are put together and greet your child with a big smile and a hug if they are okay with it.

Bring Activities or Toys

If you are allowed to have outside supervised visits, plan a trip to the zoo or park. If your visits are restricted to a designated facility or family member’s house, bring activities along that will make your time together fun.

Puzzles, board games and toys are good ways to interact with your child and create memories. Ask your child what they would like to do together the next time so both of you have something to look forward to.

Find a Way to Cope with Your Feelings

Family lawis an emotional landmine. People are fighting to be with the ones they love the most in this world, so it’s understandable that you feel everything from depression to rage. Make sure that you keep your mind in the present. Do not focus on past faults or events that have led to this moment and stew on them.

Instead, find a healthy way to relieve your stress. Work out, talk to a close friend and make sure that you take conscious steps to choose positive sayings instead of negative ones.

At the end of the day, your relationship with your child is what matters most. Supervised visits may never have been a part of your parenting plan, but they are still a blessing in their own way. You get to see your child and be a part of their life regardless, so make the most of that time and focus on what you can do with them, not what you can’t.

Tim Esterdahl

Tim Esterdahl is the editor of IFCS blog. He is a married father of three and enjoys golf in his spare time.
Tim Esterdahl

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