The phrase "supervised visitation" refers to court-ordered, scheduled, and supervised contact between a parent and his or her children. If you or your children are required to participate in supervised visitations, you know already how difficult they can be.
Even when everyone involved is excited and experiences a deep desire to connect, the presence of an outside observer, who is listening to each conversation and watching every interaction, can make the experience somewhat stilted.
To boot, the visit may take place in an unnatural setting, which works to make the experience even more artificial.
However, before you start to dread the next visit, keep in mind that there are some things you can do to make supervised visitations easier for you and your kids.
Here is a list of activities you can plan for during your visits which will not only be fun, but will provide you with plenty of reasons to laugh and enjoy yourselves:
Play a Board Game
Make a Snack
Make a Craft
Read a Chapter Book
Play Games With Your Kids During Supervised Visitations
Board games are fantastic distractions! They're fun, they provide an opportunity to laugh, and they help bring some normalcy to the situation. Most likely, you'll find that there are some games and toys available at the planned location of your visit. However, if there's a particular game that you think your kids would enjoy, ask ahead of time if you can bring it along.
Making Snacks Together During Supervised Visitations
Cooking allows you to return to something routine and "normal" from your previous life, before supervised visitations were required. Of course, you'll want to ask ahead of time whether there will be facilities for making a snack, and you'll need to bring the ingredients.
Special K Bars
Chewy Cereal Bars
Kit Kat Bars
Chewy Granola Bars
Making Crafts During Supervised Visitations
Work on a project together, such as creating a scrapbook or collage. Choose something that will take some time, so that you can each look forward to the next phase of the creative project as you anticipate your visits. The finished product can become a testimony to the time you passed through a difficult valley together and became, nonetheless, closer.
Greeting Card Placemats
Standing Picture Frame
Reading Chapter Books Out Loud During Supervised Visitations
This is a particularly great way to pass the time because your kids - no matter how old they are - love being read to! Specifically choosing a chapter book gives everyone something to look forward to as you anticipate the twists and turns of the story line. In addition, reading together provides wonderful opportunities for in-depth conversations about what you'd do if you were the main character, or what you think the author should have done differently.
You Read to Me, I'll Read to You by Mary Ann Hoberman
The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
Ramona's World by Beverly Cleary
A Series of Unfortunate Events by Daniel Handler
The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo