Separating from your spouse or partner is a time of emotional chaos and turmoil for everyone in the family, including your children. Regardless of the age of your children, there will be a transitional period for them to adjust to the “new normal” of not seeing both parents every day. Parents know that keeping the lives of their children as consistent and stable as possible is a key to their children’s emotional well-being. Accordingly, staying in touch with your children after your separation or divorce is a key to helping both you and your children adjust to the divorce or separation.
Skype or similar programs, such as FaceTime, are a great way to stay in contact after your divorce or separation. These services allow you to see your children while you talk. This is especially important for very young children who do not yet have the ability to speak, but with whom it is important to have frequent contact. When having daily physical contact is not an option, being able to see the child is a good alternative. For slightly older children, whose conversational skills are still developing, using Skype provides them with an outlet to physically show you their projects or school work, or have the parent read a bed time story.
For children who are old enough to read or write, email could be another way to stay in touch. Emailing your child could be just a short greeting to let him or her know you are thinking of him, or a longer message talking about the events of your day. Likewise, your child can use email to talk with you about the events of his or her day or what is going on at school. Using a form of written communication can also facilitate dialogue about the difficult feelings associated with divorce and separation, as many children may feel more comfortable with putting these feelings in writing instead of saying it in person.
Finally, for children old enough to have a cell phone, text messages are a good and quick way to communicate instantly with your child. Text messages are often better suited to a short and simple message, but even a quick message helps maintain the bond between you and the child despite the physical separation.
The key to maintaining contact with your child following divorce or separation is making sure your communication does not disrupt your child’s parenting time with the other parent. Make sure you are communicating at reasonable times and in reasonable amounts. Especially with forms of communication like Skype or phone calls, it may be best to schedule a time with the other parent ahead of time to make sure the timing is convenient.
If you are facing a divorce involving child custody or parenting time, you need an experienced attorney on your side. Call us today at (651) 371-9117 to discuss your child and your future plans for custody.