3 tips for long distance co-parenting by Tim Backes

01/20/2020, 22:06:00


3 Tips for Long Distance Co-Parenting

 

For children, separation and divorce is usually a very difficult lifestyle change. Even in the best co-parenting situations, they often get stuck in the middle of a parental tug-of-war.

 

Parents that work together instead of constantly against one another help make the lifestyle change easier. But, when there is an additional change, like when one parent relocates a long distance away, old tension and difficulties can resurface or new ones can appear.

 

Helping Your Kids Readjust to Parents Separated by Distance

 

For a child, having one parent live in a neighboring town may seem like they are living in a different world. Having one parent move to another state can feel like they are in a different universe.

 

Here are a few ways to make that distance feel less daunting.

 

Leverage Technology

 

With the speed at which technology improves, there are more and more ways to keep in tough with your kids, no matter how far away you are from them. If your child is old enough to safely keep a smartphone, there are apps like Facetime and Skype that let you video chat with one another. Or, if they are too young to use a smartphone, your ex-spouse can assist with lending their phone or computer.

 

And, there’s also tech available to make sure you and your ex-spouse are on the same page as far as time shared with your children is concerned. By using child custody software to help manage schedules, especially when there’s a time zone difference, you can make sure everyone is on the same page and no calls are missed.

 

Make Travel Your Hobby

 

While video calls can certainly take some of the strain of long distances away, real face-to-face contact between parents and children cannot be replaced totally. Building in as many visits as possible will go a long way in making your child feel more connected to the parent they don’t live with.

 

However, Christmas with Mom and Thanksgiving with Dad might become a bit of an annual drag, especially for older kids. Instead, try to build in small trips for your time spent together. These trips can be as grand or as simple as you can afford, both financially and time wise. The important part is that you are participating in an activity with your child and are not just simply a destination they have to visit every once in awhile.

Don’t Forget the Little Things

 

As adults, we tend to focus on the big picture. We often overlook what we might feel are small or less important acts. However, what might feel like a small or not very important act to you might mean much more to a child.

 

While video chats are fantastic and very convenient, you don’t have to end your correspondence with your children there. A hand written letter lets your child know you are thinking about them even when you aren’t talking, and with how easy it is to shop online, small gifts spread randomly throughout the year can do the same.

In Summary

 

Parenting is a tough job no matter if you are living with a spouse or divorced and co-parenting. Adding long distances to that can make things even harder.

 

While long distances are difficult for both co-parents and children, there are ways to make it feel less burdensome. A little planning and effort will go a long way in making you child feel more connected to both parents.

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