One of the hardest things for parents and children to overcome after a divorce is distance. Living away from your child adds to the challenges of parenting in many ways. This experience is one that many parents find themselves faced with after a divorce. When parents are separated the challenges of moving can become an issue as one parent is often seen as simply a long distance parent and not on the same level as the parent who has primary custody of the child.
There are a number of reasons why parents might choose to relocate. The main ones usually have to do with getting remarried or finding a new/better job. The long distance parent is faced with a number of struggles but when done right, long distance parenting can be successful. Helpful tips to learn how to stay close to your child when there is a significant distance between you might just be what you need to have the long lasting relationship that you have always dreamed of.
Tips to Stay Involved with Your Child When You Live Far Away
There are many things that you can do that will keep you close to your child even when you are not living close to them.
Make Communication a Priority
One of the most important things for parents who are not living together is to make sure that they are communicating with their child(ren) on a regular basis. If you are living in the same house as your children, you are learning small facts about their daily life and who they are that you might not know living away. Making sure that you are able to talk with your child on the phone or through video chat on a regular basis will help you to ensure that you do not miss out on these things by living away.
Know What to Talk About
When you are mainly communicating with a child on the phone, one of the first things that you will want to do is talk to them about who they are spending time with on a daily basis. Know the names of teachers, coaches, neighbors, and others who are in leadership roles around your child. You should also know the names of your child’s closest friends. Another thing that you might want to keep up on is homework, which you are typically going to be able to see online. Just make sure that the other parent keeps you updated of your child’s most important events so that you can be there with them.
Take the First Step
The biggest mistake that parents often make is that they wait for their child to call. Make sure that you are initiating contact with your child. Talk to the custodial parent and plan a set time that works for both of you and your child for you to talk. Having scheduled phone calls can really help to make sure that the relationship between you and your child is a priority for everyone involved.
Ask Questions That Require Your Child to Talk to You
If you really want to get to know your child, you will have to avoid asking questions that can be answered with a yes or no. Make sure that you are not asking your child about the other parent. If you abuse the phone calls, then you are going to find that your child will not want to talk to you. When you are asking the right questions, you will get to know your child better.
Find a Special Way to Connect
There are many ways that you can connect with your child that can be a special or shared thing between the two of you. One of these is to watch a TV show together. Another is to find an online game that you can play together. Spending time interacting with your child in a way that is more than just talking will really help the two of you to maintain a close bond when you might not be close by.
Even if you are battling with the other parent in court, your child does not need to be in the middle of that. Make sure that you maintain a positive attitude and that you keep everything that you talk with your child about positive. This is going to help to ensure that your bond remains intact and that your child continues to be close to you.
Being able to stay close with your child when you do not live in the same state can certainly be tough. When you make a plan and follow through with really trying to connect with your child, you will find that you can maintain the strong relationship that you had dreamed about having.