In order to make the exchanges go well, parents need to:
- Have a specific schedule for arrivals and departures
- Be on time and plan ahead for delays
- Avoid last minute changes
- Strive for a respectful exchange with polite greetings
- Avoid discussing touchy subjects and not argue
- Confirm next exchange time and schedule a better time to discuss it later if there is a disagreement
When conflict arises during exchanges, children are reminded that their parents are more interested in fighting with each other than meeting their children's needs.
Parents are quick to assume that reluctance to go with the other parent is the other parent's fault.
Often it is a problem created by both parents.
The way parents handle the exchange can make it too painful for the child.
For most separated families, time with both parents is not optional (it is governed by court order).
It should be treated just as seriously as compulsory attendance at school.
Exchange times need to be carefully crafted in consideration of the child's needs.
Smooth exchanges require coordination, communication and cooperation from both parents.
If you and the other parent are having difficulty with exchanges, the Transitions Family Center provides a child-friendly location for exchanges and on-site parenting time.
For more information, contact Transitions at 816-736-8400.