Happy familyThis is the next post in my series discussing how a Las Vegas parent can make the most of their weekend visitation time with their children. My last post provided an overview of topics I will be covering in this series. In this post I will explain how a parent can better plan age appropriate activities for children during the weekend.

Las Vegas parents must adjust their activities according to what is appropriate for the child’s age

Las Vegas parents often make two mistakes when it comes to planning activities for their children after a parental divorce or break up. The first mistake is that a parent will make plans based on activities they know their child used to enjoy when the parents were together. This becomes problematic as children become older and their likes and dislikes change. Nothing will irritate a teenager more than if their parent takes them to the zoo because it was their favorite activity when they were five. With older children parents may find that less can be more. Go to dinner or plan a night in. Make a list of special events going on in your town and ask the child if they would like to participate in an activity. If the child has weekend commitments such as sporting matches the parent should plan to attend. Older children are often decisive enough in their personalities to express their likes and dislikes.

With younger children a parent must be cautious not to plan activities which are too sophisticated or beyond the child’s ability to appreciate. Do not take young children to museums that do not have child friendly activities or to movies that are not appropriate for young children. When preparing and going out to dinner keep in mind that adults do not generally have the same tastes as children; ensure that your children have access to simpler foods that they will be willing to eat. Keep in mind that anywhere you take children you will need access to a bathroom, water, and food at all times. Come prepared if you are planning an activity that involves crowds of people, is very loud, or has limited seating. When in doubt do not hesitate to ask the custodial parent for advice on whether or not the activity you are planning is a good idea.

Las Vegas parents should consider how long a child can endure an activity

The second thing a parent should consider when planning weekend activities for their children, is how long a child can endure an activity before fatigue sets in. If younger children are accustomed to taking naps in the middle of the day, or have short attention spans, this is information parents should take under advisement. Children will become cranky and tired if an activity drags on too long, so parents should consider planning “half day” activities, or activities that have built in rest periods. Older children may have homework, plans with friends, or other activities they have committed to. When planning activities for older children, parents may want to avoid “surprising” their teen, and opt for communicating their plans with their child well in advance.

If you are in a shared custodial arrangement regarding your children and become involved in a dispute then do not attempt to handle the situation alone. When in doubt always consult with a family law attorney who can advise you of your rights and options. Contact me today to speak with a Las Vegas child custody lawyer.