Long Distance Parenting
Going through a divorce is hard on everyone and can leave you feeling angry and bitter. This is made harder when one of the couples has to go out of the state due to different reasons like job relocation, military or school.
Whether it’s the custodial parent moving out of state with their child or the non-custodial parent moving away, kids being away from either parent is a difficult situation. It’s hard to avoid long distance parenting effects on the child, but don’t throw in the towels yet. There are various methods you can use and still successfully bond with your kids and continue to build your relationship together while you are miles away. It’s crucial for parents to make a strong effort to go the extra mile in order to try and bridge the distance between the child and themselves.
Here are 3 ways to stay connected when your child lives far away.
1. Constant Communication
The question that is clicking in your mind is how to stay involved in your kids’ lives. Since you are not there physically, it’s extra important to communicate as often as possible so they know you are thinking of them, love them, and truly care. This helps show that you are invested in the relationship and are committed to working on being there for them in other ways.
Calls and Texts: This is the easiest and most common way of reaching your kids. You and your child can have something to look forward to each day by sharing pictures and videos of your happy moments and daily routines!
Send Letters: On top of the calls and video chats, sending letters can be fun! Kids can send their artwork, school accomplishments, postcards, and pictures. Make this even more fun and send a notebook back and forth continuing a conversation together so that in the end, you have a meaningful keepsake. Start a new one once it’s full!
Family Video Calling Apps: Long distance parents and their kids find that this is the most enjoyable way of getting in touch. Video chat and get to know how the kids are doing. Get creative with the following tips:
- Help them with their homework
- Look pictures together
- Play games such as I Spy
- Listen to them practice musical instruments
- Sit down and eat a meal together at the same time
- Read them bedtime stories
- Sing and dance together
- Your child can take you on a tour to show off their room, school projects, and activities.
With the recent development of technology, these methods of communication are effective and fun! A few family-friendly video calling apps include:
During the calls and texting with the kids, take some time to briefly talk with your ex-spouse. You are still one family and the kids are the one binding it together. It’s helpful to be on good terms.
2. Send Gift Packages
Put together a fun package each month to send in the mail. Think of things that can bring you and your child closer together as well as items that let them know you remember what they love. As they grow, pay attention to their new interests and passions. Think of their wants and needs. Here are a few ideas:
- Books that the two of you can read together while video chatting
- Their favorite treats and snacks
- New equipment if they’ve started a new hobby or extracurricular activity
- A stuffed animal that allows you to record a voice message from you to them!
- Arts and crafts
- School clothes.
- Seasonal gifts during the holidays. Get creative!
- A framed pictures of the two of you together or an entire photo album. Add more photos to the album as you create more memories together.
3. Create a Visitation Schedule that Works
Make time to visit them as often as possible. If they old enough to be in school, plan times throughout the school year that will work with their schedule. Weekends and holiday vacations when school isn’t in session is common. Talk with the other parent about days that will work during Summer vacation and the possibility of them flying out to your house for extended periods of time.
When communicating with your ex, be respectful and always think of what is in the best interest of the child. Children deserve to have a relationship with both parents. It’s important for children to be able to build the relationship with their parent living out of state. Work together to create a long distance parenting plan. If you and your ex can’t come to an agreement, the judge will put an out of state visitation schedule in place that needs to be followed.
Long distance co-parenting after a divorce is not always easy and it needs a commitment from both parties. As a parent, your main goal is to stay in touch with the kids and strengthen the bond, no matter what.
What Can Our Salt Lake City, Utah Family Law Attorney Help With?
If you need help from a divorce attorney in Utah to put together a long distance parenting plan, long distance visitation schedule, or help to protect your parental rights, contact the Law Office of David Pedrazas. You can be sure that all he will take care of your needs. David Pedrzas has over 25 years of experience helping families in Utah with divorce, family law, child support, and child custody issues. Give Salt Lake City, Utah child custody attorney, David Pedrazas a call today at 801-263-7078 to schedule a free case evaluation.