Custody arrangements look different for every family depending on a number of factors. One of these factors is the distance that both parents live from one another.
Of course, the court generally wants parents to stay close together in shared custody cases. But that is not always possible, such as when one parent serves in the military or must take care of ill or aging relatives. So how do such parents deal with long-distance custody?
Making yourself emotionally available
Onward discusses ways of handling long-distance custody arrangements. First, stick to a schedule of calls. This prevents the custodial parent from facing unpleasant surprises by their co-parent calling whenever and gives the child a sense of stability and structure, as well as something to look forward to.
Next, prioritize emotional availability. Depending on time zones, work and other things, total schedule availability is not always possible. Staying emotionally available shows a child that their parent is a safe space for them.
Parents should still respect their children’s boundaries, though. While constant communication is crucial, it is also important not to overstep any lines and start edging into the “smothering” territory, which can have the opposite of the intended effect and push children away.
Finally, rely on technology wherever possible. These days, more convenient tools exist to make it easier to communicate frequently with someone on the other side of the world. Take advantage of that to spend quality time.
Of course, this is often not the ideal situation for a parent who loves their child. But by following these tips, it is easier than ever to make the most of even long-distance custody arrangements for however long they may last.