Co-parenting is great for children, as it provides a more stable structure for them to take refuge in as they adapt to life after divorce. It is also great for the ex-couple.
But what happens if one co-parent must move away from the other and from their child? How can co-parents cope with this?
Communication between co-parents
Onward discusses co-parenting from long distances. This happens for many reasons, ranging from serving with the military to taking care of an aging relative in their last years. Separation from one’s children is often an additional stressor that makes life harder for these individuals.
However, it is not impossible to co-parent from a distance. First, co-parents must keep up communication between one another. If this breaks down, it can jeopardize the absent co-parent’s ability to maintain contact with their children. Make sure to always stay on the same page and talk any issues out immediately in lieu of having face-to-face meetings.
Improving the quality of time together
As for the children, a co-parent who cannot maintain a strong physical presence must find other ways to maximize the quality of the time they spend with their child. For example, keep track of what is happening in their lives and maintain a genuine interest in it. Provide support where possible. Stay emotionally available to keep bonds strong, even if remaining literally available is not always possible.
Try to reach out in a way that makes the child feel more comfortable, too. For example, some may prefer a lot of contact while others may feel stifled by it. Some may like video calls while others may prefer texts. By communicating with a child at their comfort level, this also maximizes the quality of time spent together.