Schedule one-on-one time with each of the siblings. By personalizing each relationship you strengthen your custody prospects

Posted June 3rd, 2016.

Categories: Custody Tips, Family Law.

siblings mark guralnick

Busy parents with multiple children often think of their children as “the kids” — the two of them, or the three of them. Children always seem to exist in the plural. Who has “the kids” this weekend? Who’s watching “the kids”? What are “the kids” up to? The problem with thinking of the children as a collective is that they gradually lose their individual identities. You run the risk that the kids themselves will stop thinking of themselves as individuals.

To bolster your relationships with each of your children, stop occasionally to think of each of them individually. Schedule one-on-one time with each of them. Set up events, tasks, or activities that you do with only one of your children, and other events, tasks or activities that you do with the other one. While it is important to treat all children fairly and evenhandedly, and it may be necessary to think of “the kids” as a group in order to manage them appropriately from time to time, you should also set aside some private one-on-one time with each of the children. Perhaps you and your daughter are in charge of gardening–and joint project for just the two of you. Perhaps you and your son are painting a room and brainstorming other household improvements — a joint project for the two of you.

Giving kids this special personal time with you strengthens the parent-child bond — one child at a time — and also let’s the children know that you value them as individuals to help with certain decisions and activities around the home. Better yet, the children may take some personal responsibility for their actions: Your daughter may see the garden at your home as her personal obligation; your son may become personally vested in the quality of the paint job and other household repairs. By making these connections, you are tightening the children’s connection to you and to your household. You are effectively ensuring that the children will tell custody evaluators and judges who interview them that they wish to remain living with you, at your home — their home.

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