When you are the noncustodial parent, it can be difficult to feel as if you are a part of your child’s life. But your child needs you to be present, as children who have a lot of parental involvement do better academically and emotionally.
Fortunately, there are a number of ways you can connect, even if your kid lives out of state:
- Take advantage of technology, such as Skype, text, messenger and social media.
- Keep your communications positive: no arguing, complaining or gossiping.
- Allow your child to have a flexible schedule with you. If you have an arranged call but your kid has other plans, adjust your schedule.
- Write letters or send cards by regular mail. Send postcards and pictures of your place and travels.
- Do not ask your child to take messages to the other parent.
- Put your child’s needs first. Ask your child about her personal preferences in communication.
When you are together
Noncustodial parents sometimes feel as if they must be a “Disneyland” parent, doing fun things with the child during visitation. Allow your child to see you do boring tasks and to help you with chores. Traveling places and doing activities constantly can be entertaining, but it is hard to build a relationship when you are spending all your time watching movies or going on carnival rides.
As your child grows up, expect changes in how often she wants to talk to you. Let your child know that you are thinking of her without expecting any response. If you need assistance with a child visitation modification that cannot be worked out between you and your child’s other parent, you might need to get your divorce attorney involved. Sometimes, a third party can help you find a solution that does not involve more litigation. Just remember to keep your focus on the best interests of your child to find the best outcome.