The Long Distance Parent
It’s never easy being a parent. We constantly struggle, wondering if we’re doing the best we can for our kids. It’s so much pressure knowing that you only get a short window of time to prepare them to become responsible, healthy, and emotionally balanced adults. For some divorced parents, there is an extra challenge of being geographically distant from their children. It’s not the ideal situation, but it doesn’t’t mean that as a parent you should have no influence in the lives of your children. In fact, with some effort and planning, it’s possible to have a close relationship with your child even from many miles away.
Keep the lines of communication open with the other parent: One of the most important ways to ensure you have a strong connection to your kids is to do everything possible to keep the lines of communication open with the parent who has primary custody. This is not always easy, but it’s one of the best ways to keep abreast of what’s happening in your child’s life.
Technology is your friend! Today more than ever, people are able to stay connected from a distance. There are so many ways to communicate: texting, email, instant messaging, and Skype, to name a few.
Send a care package: Children absolutely love to get mail! Consider sending small care packages every so often. They need not be expensive items. Small items like Legos, flavored lip gloss, action figures, and art supplies are easy to mail and inexpensive.
Make the most of your time: When those special days finally arrive and you’re enjoying a visit together, make the most of that time. Don’t pressure them with questions or comments about the other parent. Keep the focus on your child and enjoy every precious moment as much as possible. That being said, don’t let discipline and structure go out the window. Kids need routine, so keep a regular bedtime schedule and keep rules in place.
Record your memories: Don’t forget to take lots of pictures and even video if you can. Later on, you can send them a small album of your time together.
So, if you are a parent who is living far away from your child, don’t despair. If you communicate with them on a consistent basis and keep your own expectations realistic, you still have the ability to be an important and meaningful part of your child’s life.
For more information and to schedule your consultation, please call The Law Offices of Steven B. Chroman, P.C., at 661-255-1800 or visit us at www.chromanlaw.com. Mr. Chroman is a Trusted Advisor Award Winner and named Top 100 California Attorney’s with over 25 years of experience and local service and a 2021 Super Lawyer. You can purchase Mr. Chroman’s best-selling Divorce Workbook at: www.amazon.com/Preparing-Divorce–considering-separation.
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