You or your child is moving far away, to another state or country, and you’re worried that your relationship will deteriorate. This is completely understandable, long-distance co-parenting isn’t an easy thing to go through.
Just thinking about the distance between you and your child causes serious heartache. Then you also realize that children may not be as well emotionally equipped as grown ups when it comes to dealing with this type of emotional tribulation, and your stomach drops.
Let me tell you right away, this doesn’t have to be the case when you’re ready to put in the effort, make considerate plans and follow through on them.
On staying close to your children, even if you’re long-distance
Whether long-distance or not, each successful co-parenting story starts with a plan.
Talk to your co-parent, and create a new long-distance co-parenting plan. Schedule visitations, and ensure to cover all details if your child would be traveling on their own. These could include specific airports, airlines, who handles travel arrangements, etc.
Moreover, set virtual meeting times and be prepared to show up on time.
Technology is among the main tools to use to ensure you sustain your relationship with your child, even if you’re on the other side of the globe.
Make sure to write down their extracurriculars or other activities in your calendar, mark down any important events, and ask them about them in your calls. If you know they have a big test coming up, follow up with them to see how they’ve done. If they have football tryouts, ask them how they’ve done.
Your children have to feel like you’re there for them, and while they may not yet have a great sense of time, they very well know and remember the times when you weren’t there. Talking to them about these events lets them know that you care, even if not present physically.
Get creative with these meetings, depending on the age of your child. Read them bedtime stories. Play online games together. Watch TV shows together. Help them with their homework. Technology today is an incredibly powerful tool for long-distance co-parents, and you’d be seriously missing out if you didn’t use it to its full potential.
A mutual effort: communication, consistency, being there
Long-distance co-parenting demands effort from both of the co-parents: for the long-distance co-parent, this means regular communication with their child, and for the custodial co-parent, this means keeping their co-parent informed on day-to-day activities.
By keeping the long-distance co-parent involved, they get to feel like they’re still an active part of their child’s life. This may seem like unnecessary extra work for the custodial parent, but doing it can actually help strengthen your co-parenting relationship.
Moreover, the custodial parent also plays a role in helping their children understand that their long-distance parent is still their parent, and still cares deeply for all that they do. Encourage your child to write down the interesting things that have happened to them to share with their other parent. This process in itself will help them understand the situation.
As I’ve told you above, consistency in following through with plans is extremely important, but suffice to say, there will be times when you have to cancel an online meeting or visitation. The custodial parent is here to comfort the child while explaining life’s unpredictability, and reschedule the meeting with the other parent.
If there should be a longer stretch of time before the child sees their other parent, help them visualize the time. Create a countdown on their iPad or let them cross over days in the calendar. Just knowingly being one day closer to seeing their parent will help them with coping significantly.
It’s important to note here that yes, the custodial parent has a lot of work cut out for them which may not seem fair, but it all boils down to the fundamentals of co-parenting. Whenever you feel like you’ve had enough, always remind yourself that you’re doing this to provide your child with the best life possible.
Pick up a co-parenting app to simplify long-distance co-parenting
Co-parenting apps such as FamiliPay were designed to make your life easier, so think about getting one.
Shared payments, which otherwise may be tricky depending on the other co-parent’s location and time zone, will become a piece of cake to manage with automated invitations to pay sent to the other co-parent, as well as paying with one single click.
You can also use the co-parenting calendar, and share it with your co-parent. In this way, they can stay informed about their child’s life without you having to fill them in on it every day.
Because they are made for co-parents, these apps not only offer a variety of options for you, but they can also serve as a guide through your co-parenting relationship making sure you don’t forget anything important.
Think of long-distance co-parenting as just another one of the challenges life throws at us.
With proper planning, communication, and being there for each other, your child will thrive even if half a world away from their other parent.
FamiliPay can help with that. And best of all, you can try it for free with absolutely no obligations. Start your 3-month free trial today!