As a parent who just went through divorce, you likely want to spend as much quality time with your co-parent as possible. But sometimes, life gets in the way, such as if you have to take care of an ill family member or serve in the military.
But even at a distance, you can still have a fulfilling relationship with your children. The trick is focusing on quality rather than quantity.
Making your time meaningful
Onward discusses the ways parents can make long-distance co-parenting work. As mentioned, you want to maximize the quality of the time you spend with them. You will not get as much time as your co-parent for obvious reasons, so you need to make the most of the time you have. You can do this by:
- Engaging with your child in meaningful ways
- Showing interest in your child’s life and what they are doing
- Taking time out to remind them that you are paying attention to their lives, such as calling before an important exam to wish them good luck
Meet them where they are comfortable
It also helps to communicate with them in a way they feel more comfortable with. For example, find out if your child prefers phone calls or video chats. See if they like you checking in by text. Determine their boundaries, i.e. how much communication they want to see from you before it becomes overwhelming or feels smothering.
You may not be able to contact them every day or see them whenever you like, but you ca still make them feel like part of your life and vice versa.