Flexibility and generosity should always be your guiding mantra as you navigate through your shared parenting time arrangements. Human nature being what it is, your ex-spouse will be more willing to work with you instead of against you if you offer the same.
For example, Spouse A has a family gathering on a Sunday a few hours from home. In order to return the kids to Spouse B in time for the previously agreed upon parenting time transfer, the kids would have to miss the family bar-b-q dinner. This is a perfect opportunity for Spouse B to demonstrate flexibility and generosity in the children’s best interests. Understandably it’s not ideal that the children may be an hour sleep deprived for school the next day, however, they will make it through the day, albeit a bit cranky. In the grand scheme of things, the picnic and the peaceful interaction of their parents, are what will be remembered by the kids.
Now that the children are returning to school, parenting time challenges will have to be modified to fit school year activities. It is most important that the children see, feel and understand that both parents want to spend time with them and be a part of their lives, and children do not want to be the cause of their parents’ strife.
When both parents work toward ensuring that the alternate parent also has quality time with the kids, it is a winning situation for all concerned. It is, after all, quality time that counts—not an extra hour here or there. If one parent works a lot, then exercise those generous, flexibility muscles to enable that parent to spend time with the kids when he or she gets a break from the job.
Let your actions be guided by the mantra, flexibility and generosity. We should never forget that the well-being of our children is the most important part of a divorce.