As we all know, parenting isn't easy. When it comes to raising our children, we often wonder if we are doing the best we can for them. There is so much pressure on parents to prepare their children to be responsible, healthy, and emotionally balanced adults within a short timeframe.
Some parents may face additional challenges due to geographic distance from their children. After all, how can a parent be a parent when they don’t live in the same home as their children?
What’s more, you have to address:
Different rules and expectations
Transferring belongings between locations
Adjusting to different surroundings and routines
Obviously, this is far from an ideal situation. Nevertheless, we have a significant impact on our children's lives. A close relationship between you and your child is possible no matter the geographic distance.
Communicate with the other parent.
Maintaining communication with your kids' primary caregiver is a crucial part of ensuring a strong relationship with your children. Being involved in your child's life isn't always easy, but it's a great way to stay informed.
Establishing a consistent time to have contact with your child during the week is best for predictability. When you plan a visit, give them plenty of notice if your visitation schedule is not predetermined by a court order. Make sure you are accommodating and fair when it comes to transportation when your child comes to visit.
To that parent, it's all easy for you. In addition to getting your child to school on time, keeping up with homework, and attending after-school activities, they also handle most of the mundane day-to-day chores.
Furthermore, you should communicate well with the custodial parent for another reason. If your child has any difficulties at school or at home, they are aware of it.
In the same way that you want your short time with them to go as smoothly as possible, so does your child. A child who may be a conflict-prone individual is unlikely to be eager to share any news. For example, when they're failing a subject at school or being disrespectful or destructive at home, they may not tell you.
Utilize today's technology.
Keeping in touch from a distance is easier than ever before. You can communicate via email, text message, video, among other methods.
For instance, you can schedule a regular video call with your child using FaceTime, WhatsUp, Skype, Messenger, or Google Duo.
You have to meet teens and tweens where they are. In this case, it's through texting. However, keep your messages to a reasonable limit.
Record a book for them.
By investing in a recordable storybook, you can keep the tradition going when your children are at your ex's house. Whenever your children need a little dose of you, they can listen to your voice.
Send them a care package.
In longer-term situations, like spring break or summer vacation, you might want to mail out a care package for your kids.
Don't overload it with gifts: a book or two, a letter, a picture of your pet, a small toy. You should avoid giving extravagant gifts or treats to your ex if you know they aren't allowed there.
Create a calendar.
In addition to the time children spend with the other parent, they also communicate with the other parent at home. Parents should keep a calendar in their homes that indicate clearly which days their children are with each parent, according to Divorce Magazine. When it comes to special occasions, such as birthdays or Christmases, this eliminates any confusion, especially for younger children.
Be aware that your child may not respond on a regular basis.
It is unrealistic to expect that your child will automatically respond the same way you are contacting him or her. The fact that they are not interested in what you're doing does not mean they don't appreciate it. It is more likely that they are not mature enough to be socially aware yet.
Reconnect with your kids when they return from the other parent’s home.
Disconnection is caused by distance and change, which is why your child returns home grumpy, defiant, or upset. Thanks to a special time, you’re able to bridge that gap.
This is a simple way to let your child take the lead when playing. By setting up this simple act, you can restore and reconnect with your child.
You can start by following these steps.
Establish expectations. If you want your child to adjust smoothly to his or her new home, you need to prepare yourself for a bumpy transition. Those feelings are natural, and you can allow them to exist.
Slow down, and pay attention. Take a moment to listen to your child when he or she walks in the door. Make yourself 100% available to them. Allow them to vent if they wish. Likewise, if they scream, cry, or tantrum, let them express those feelings.
Give them a chance to speak. After you have set a timer on your phone, egg timer, or kitchen timer, follow your child wherever they go for five minutes. Do your best not to direct your child's play or conversation.