Ten tips to create an every-other-weekend home for the child of divorce


Many times, we concentrate on the single-parent home where a child resides. But there are thousands of part-time single parents. These are the situations when the kids come to visit on the weekend. Part-time single parents need help and suggestions to create an emotionally and spiritually healthy environment for the kids.

This information in this blog is to help single parents whose kids come to visit every other weekend.

Here are ten visitation transition tips to help the part time-single parent create a fun, safe, and relaxing weekend home.

1. Be ready for your children. In other words, have their favorite foods on hand or some of their favorite games, books, a bed, and a place for their things.

2.  Develop some type of ritual when they arrive or when you pick them up. Maybe a high five, head rub, or fist bump—something they can come to depend upon. Any interaction between you and the child is good. If there is more than one child, then develop a hello ritual for each kid.

3.  Develop a goodbye ritual also. Kids need to understand and know you are saying goodbye, and you are connecting with them. This way, they will come to know you are always there even when you have to say goodbye at the end of the visit.

4.  Have some sort of schedule. In other words, get up at the same time each time they visit; go to bed at approximately the same time. A schedule allows the child to know what’s coming next. It doesn’t have to be real strict but some sort of schedule.

5.  Before they leave each time, talk about what they’d like to do next time they visit (e.g., rent a movie, go see a movie, wash the car, or go swimming). This will give them something to look forward to at your home.

6.  Set up your place like a home—like a second home for them. Have a place to put their clothes, toothbrush, etc. As a matter of fact, keep a toothbrush, soap, deodorant, PJs, and extra clothes and underwear at your home. Even if you have to go purchase these items, kids need to know you care enough to prepare for them, and you want them with you.

7.  Develop a bedtime ritual. Even if your kids are older, have some sort of bedtime ritual even if it’s just eating a bowl of cereal together. For a deeper bedtime ritual, after the cereal, read Scripture each night they are with you. Read something that is uplifting and lets them know that God loves them very much.

8.  Ask about the children’s schoolwork when they are in school. If they have test coming up, have them bring their spelling words or books to read to your home, and help them study. It might only be half an hour, but this says you care about their life and want to be involved in it.

9.  Have chores to do at your home. Even it’s nothing more than making the bed and emptying the trash, kids feel like they belong when they contribute to the home. Though they are only there a couple of days, they still need to contribute. It might be loading the dishwasher, being responsible for helping cook the meals, or vacuuming the place where they sleep. You can do chores together to bring harmony and connectedness to your kids. Think about washing the car or some other chore that can be turned into a fun event.

10. Enjoy yourself, and have fun, but be a parent. Don’t be the fun, weekend parent—just be the parent God intends you to be. Love your children, laugh with them, cry with them, cheer them up, and keep up a good attitude toward the other parent.


These ideas will go a long way in creating healthy relationships between you and your children. And these are relationships that will last into the adult years.


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