One of the major concerns non-custodial parents have following a divorce is maintaining a close relationship with their children. Because you are no longer living in the same home, it can be a struggle to sustain that strong bond without making a special effort to stay close. Following these parenting tips can help you avoid drifting apart over time:
Stay in touch often. Let your children dictate how they’d like to communicate — phone call, email, text, video chat, etc. By doing this, you stand a better chance at being able to stay in touch with them if it’s on their terms. If you saw your kids every day when you were married, you should try to maintain that pattern with daily messages to let them know you are thinking of them.
Be the adult. Don’t depend on your children to initiate communication. Even if they are not responding as much as you’d like, it is still your job as the parent to maintain contact.
Have a schedule. Set scheduled times for contact that ensures both parent and child are available. And while both of you can benefit from having a routine, it’s also important to include some spontaneous contact when circumstances call for it.
Be interested in your child’s interests. Maintaining an interest in whatever your children are passionate about will always provide something for you to talk about. Plus, you are showing them that the things they care about matter to you.
Celebrate. Find a way to create your own special celebrations for birthdays, holidays, achievements, and other important milestones in your child’s life.
Empathize. Parenting from a distance is stressful for both you and your child. Maintaining a positive attitude will help both of you cope with this new paradigm.
Be consistent. It is important that you consistently show up in your child’s life. If something comes up that prevents a visit or call, reschedule right away. Don’t disappoint your child by not showing up at the last minute.
Be a good co-parent. No matter what issues drove you and your spouse apart, you need to set those aside for the good of your children. Don’t use your children as go-betweens and try to support your ex when they are facing co-parenting challenges of their own.
It is important that you do not wait too long to retain an attorney when you are facing a family law issue. Delays can cost you valuable legal rights, and you want to make sure that you have the advice and support you need to make the best decisions for you and your family long after the divorce settlement is reached. Contact us today for your free consultation.