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5 Ways to Make the Most of Stay-at-Home Parenting Time in Illinois

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker has extended the state’s Stay-at-Home order through the end of May. If you are a divorced parent, you may be struggling with how to navigate your parenting plan with your ex-spouse during this time. Consider taking some of the below actions with your children during your parenting time to make the most of your parental responsibilities at such an unprecedented moment in history.

Your Kids Will Thank You if You Do These Things

Spending time with your children has never been more important—or ever-present—than it is now. Many parents are experiencing new challenges related to work-life balance, and since schools have been closed for in-person classes, keeping children occupied during the Stay-at-Home restriction may be a tall order. One thing to keep in mind is that parenting time has been deemed essential, so unless you and the other co-parent make some sort of special arrangements, both parents should continue to spend time with their children as scheduled. Here are some inventive ways to keep your kids engaged during your agreed-upon parenting time:

  1. Use the Internet to its fullest capabilities—If you are sick or have been exposed to illness that could put your child at risk, you may not want to visit with your children in person. That does not mean you need to cancel your scheduled time. Instead, you can video chat with your children. It might even be fun for you and your kids to play a game together through Zoom or other similar apps that enable screen-sharing online.
  2. Disconnect from your laptop and smartphone—While this is true of all parents, it is particularly true of parents looking to optimize their time with their children during visitation. Every minute spent on your computer or phone is the time you are losing with your children, and they will notice. The same goes for the kids; designate part of your time together as “phone-free” so you can really engage with them.

  3. Be cooperative with your co-parent—Even if you and the other parent have struggled to get along in the past, it is important to maintain open communication and a positive relationship now more than ever. Be flexible and willing to compromise if circumstances change unexpectedly. That sense of teamwork will give your children great comfort in this uncertain time.

  4. Devise productive ways to use the time at home—Both you and your children currently have a lot more time around the house together. Consider cultivating their creativity with art projects or other involved endeavors. You might also want to start giving them more responsibilities or tasks around the house. This will not only help you, but it will also help them feel more grown-up as they contribute to running the household.

  5. Simulate public activities—If some of the activities you and your children did during parenting time before the Stay-at-Home order took place in public venues, consider working with your kids to develop that same atmosphere indoors. Maybe you always dined at a special place for lunch, played at the beach, or attended sporting events together. Figure out dynamic ways to recreate these activities indoors. Assign roles to family members by creating sets and making it a performance. You might be surprised at how much fun everyone will have.

Contact a DuPage County Family Law Attorney

Parents in Illinois will have at least another month of this Stay-at-Home Order to contend with. Make the most of that visitation time with your children—be creative and resourceful. If you think you need to update your parenting plan or make any other post-divorce modifications as a result of these difficult times, reach out to a skilled Downers Grove divorce lawyer as soon as possible. We will help you make the proper legal arrangements while working to protect the best interests of your children. Call SBK Law Group today at 630-427-4407 to schedule your private consultation.

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