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  • Writer's pictureAleezeh Hasan

Staying close to your kids even when you’re far

Going through a divorce and not always having time with your children is difficult situation for anyone. For some, it can be even tougher because they may decide to move far away from their ex-spouse.

You may consider moving after a divorce because of a new job opportunity, a new partner or to take care of a parent. Distance can complicate child custody and for some it might mean they hardly get the opportunity to connect with their kids.

You might find yourself feeling bad for not being able to be around but being away does not mean that you can’t still be actively involved in your kid’s lives. Nowadays, we have the benefits of technology to aid us in staying close to people that are far away.

Here are some tricks to stay active in your child’s life as a long-distance parent:

1. Create videos or recordings of yourself for your child to watch or listen to when they are missing you. This can be anything from a video diary, to an advice session or a series of jokes that you want to share. Your children will have a way to see you even when you aren’t able to be around. This can be an especially great idea if you are living in different time zones and are busy or sleeping when your kids are free.

2. Set up a regular video call and clear your schedule for it. You could set up a call for one night a week and dedicate all the time to your son or daughter. During these calls, mute your notifications and focus your attention on the updates they’re telling you. You could plan a fun activity as well, like word games or reading a story, so that the conversation will remain flowing and your child will look forward to that special phone call every week.

3. Send the occasional care package. Every once in a while, send your child a small gift. This could be something you made, a toy they really want, or just a box filled with their favorite snacks. You could include a picture or a note as well so that they can keep it close to them and have a reminder of you. Thoughtful gifts out of the blue can be meaningful and unforgettable for your kids.

4. Call them before big events. If your child has a recital, a play or a big game coming up, call them a little bit before just to wish them luck. A text the morning of a significant exam will lift their spirits and they’ll know that you are supportive of them no matter what.

5. Play games online. If your child is into video games, then playing with them over the internet while talking on the phone can be a fun activity for both of you. If you have a busy schedule you can play games with each other using apps on your phones where you take turns and do not always need to be immediately responsive. With older kids this can be an excellent way to connect and make time for each other.

Connecting with your kids regularly after a divorce can be tough, but there are still plenty of ways and gestures for you to express how much you care about them. A little reminder to your child can go a long way and will bring both of you closer together.

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