Never miss your time with the kids….without rescheduling.
Let’s face it. Things happen, and sometimes you cannot keep your scheduled visit with the kids. Or if you’re the custodial parent, sometimes an emergency requires you to give up your time with the kids for a few hours or a day. Sudden developments at work, family issues, perhaps even your own illness – all of these event can occasionally get in the way of scheduled time with your children.
If you’re cancelling time with the kids on a regular basis, then you may need to fix your schedule or re-order your priorities. But if you occasionally have to cancel your parenting time with the children because of a legitimate emergency or sudden scheduling conflict, that’s understandable.
But never cancel your time with the children unless you immediately re-schedule for another time. Cancellations without rescheduling count for nothing; they’re remembered as a loss – as if the children are in second place. When making a sudden cancellation, you need to do three things promptly: (1) notify the other parent; (2) speak to the children directly about it; and (3) choose a new makeup date for your parenting time or your visit. Needless to say, you should never cancel the same visit twice.
By minimizing the risk of cancellations, you won’t have to deal with this problem very often. When an emergency arises, you can minimize the unhappiness by promptly and effectively communicating and rescheduling. You must deal with these issues simultaneously. Do not plan on “getting back in touch” with the other parent to arrange a makeup date. Do it right away. In so doing, you’ll not only show the children how important it is that you not miss any time with them, but you’ll also remove the possibility that the other parent will use your missed visits against you in a future custody proceeding.