Whether out of state or across county lines, parenting can be a challenge.
Reasons for LD Parenting, whether permanent or temporary can be diverse.
- New employment
- Job transfer/promotion for parent or parent’s spouse
- Educational pursuits
- Caretaking of a relative
Ways to accomplish successful Long-Distance Parenting:
- Each parent should foster and support the relationship.
- Adhere to respectful communication with the other parent. Set ground rules. Get help from a therapist or coach if communication is difficult.
- Aim for regular and consistent contact, whether in person or by phone or video. Avoid last minute changes. It causes disappointment for the child and can stir up anger in the other parent.
- Keep a calendar and coordinate dates together. Confirm by email/text.
- Encourage parties to be open to suggestions from the other parent spending more time with the child. Knowing about the child’s routine is very helpful.
- Have child keep a journal or diary of activities to share in a conversation.
- Share information regarding child’s pastimes such as school, sports, friends, pets, etc.
- Create a sense of security for the child. Be curious but not critical.
- Age-appropriate frequency and duration for child for phone calls/video or visit.
- Travel – age appropriate: who accompanies child if necessary? When can child travel alone?
- Advise who will be present – avoid surprises.
- “Meetways” app- suggests mid-way points between locations.
- Expense of trip-how will it be handled?
Whether together or apart:
- Create memories. Share a video of a trip taken or one you want to take.
- Write letters, send postcards (they are everywhere, and some are very funny!), send cartoons-even a very young child can appreciate them.
- Share jokes and riddles-easy to text or email. Use a shared calendar for count down for calls /visits.
- Send a funny video-this could be your “TiKTok” moment.
- On ZOOM or Skype, try interactive games such as HeadBanz (age5+), Battleships (age7+), or on a phone-House Party (App)