Parenting your children from afar is never easy. You have to find ways that you can stay involved in their lives, but you have geographical limitations with which you have to contend. This is a tough spot to be in; however, there are some options that you have that might make it a bit easier.
The reasons for having to long-distance parent vary greatly. A parent who is in the military might be placed in this position. The custodial parent might move away with the child or the other parent might need to move for work. In all of these cases, you might be able to use these tips to help you with the long distance relationship with your children.
#1: Stay involved
You need to stay involved with your children’s activities. One good way to do this is through virtual visits. You can video chat with your children while you help them with homework or watch a video of their game. The key is to find things that they enjoy and share those with them or help them with things they need. Younger children might enjoy having you read a bedtime story via a video chat. Don’t forget about traditional communication methods like phone calls and letters. You might be surprised by how much your child enjoys getting a card from you in the mail.
#2: Work as a team
Joint decisions and providing the child with consistency have to be priorities. This might prove to be a challenge because the children might try to play one parent against the other. When there are big decisions to be made, it is usually best for you to discuss them with the other adult. This gives a chance for a joint decision to be made. Just because you aren’t there physically doesn’t mean that you can’t help with discipline and similar points.
#3: Schedule visits when possible
Even though you are spending time with your children through virtual methods, you still need to plan in-person visits. These should focus on making memories with your children, which can happen in special trips or by just spending time at home. The trips that you plan don’t have to be long or extravagant. Even a weekend with your child is likely going to be worth the airfare or travel costs. Remember that even though you might have to give up your time and money, your child will be thrilled to get to spend time with you.