One of the hardest challenges divorced parents may go through is having to relocate far and still be involved in their children’s lives. Co-parenting while divorced has its own difficulties since both parents want the best for their child but might not agree on the route to get it; adding in long distance parenting can be additionally stressful. There are various reasons that long distance co-parenting cannot be avoided, these include employment opportunities and family issues. Here are a few tips for single parenting across the miles.
Plan your visitation schedule ahead of time so that both parents and the child know what to expect and there are no arguments. Scheduling may need to be arranged to fit around vacations, sports, school and other activities, knowing everyone’s schedule ahead of time helps reduce the stress of conflicts of time management.
Stay in contact
Distance means a loss of spontaneous moments, however you can stay in close contact with scheduled phone calls, emails and video conferences though sites such as Skype. Weekly letters and the occasional card or gift can give the child something to look forward to and remind them that their parent is always thinking of them. Reading a bedtime story over the phone or video conference is a great way to keep in touch with your younger child’s everyday actions. If you are a parent of older children you may want to join them on one or more social media networks such as Facebook or Google +. When you talk to your child have real conversations, ask them about their days, their activities and their friends while avoiding any gossip or bad mouthing of the other parent.
Be supportive and communicate
Both parents need to be supportive of their children. If you are the custodial parent, try to make staying in contact with the child easy as possible. Additionally, give some privacy to children so they can talk with their distant parent freely without worrying that something they say might make someone feel bad. Let children keep pictures of both parents in their bedrooms and supply material so that they can send letters or emails any time the child wants.
Furthermore, both parents should keep in contact with each other at least once a week. Share any information, happy stories or problems that your child may be having so that both parents can help.
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