No matter what the custody schedule is, transferring custody from one parent to the other parent and missing time with their children can be emotionally difficult – especially when the whole family is still adjusting to the new custody arrangement post-divorce.
Parents naturally want to remain involved in their children’s lives, even when they are with the other parent. So, how can parents stay connected with their children?
The age of technology makes it easier to connect
In the past, parents faced significant challenges when it came to maintaining a strong connection with their children after divorce and were often limited to only phone calls between visits. However, it is now much easier to stay connected in the age of technology.
With advancements in technology, in addition to phone calls, parents and children can easily connect through:
- Text messages
- Video chats and calls
- Social media
- Online games
In fact, a 2019 study found that the consistent and frequent contact that text messaging offers helped to maintain a strong connection in the parent-child relationship after a divorce by allowing parents to stay involved in their children’s lives as well as reminding the children that their parents care about them even when they are not with them.
Important: Respect each other’s parenting time
While maintaining a healthy parent-child relationship is important, parents must also make sure to respect the other parent’s time with the children.
In negotiating custody arrangements, parents should discuss how and when they will connect with children during the other parent’s parenting time. For example:
- Parents might choose not to regulate text messages since they are quick and easy ways to stay connected, particularly for older children and tend not to be disruptive;
- Parents might limit phone calls or video calls with the other parent or set schedules for such calls and video time to ensure those calls do not interfere with the other parent’s time, or unreasonably interrupt dinner time, bedtime rituals, and the like.
- Parents may wish to regulate the child’s screen-time by setting approved or scheduled times.
Staying connected with children following divorce is important for both the parents and the children, however, it is equally important for parents to be respectful of the other parent’s time with the children. Parents should be flexible and reasonable, and allow the children’s needs and best interests to prevail.