Keeping Your Family Connected Even When Apart
Divorce and separation can quickly break up families and create rifts in relationships that had been building for years. It can also lead people to pick up and start a new life somewhere different. For kids, realizing that one parent has moved can be devastating, and they may be left wondering how they will stay connected or when they will be together again with their Mom or Dad who moved away. Keeping your family connected even when apart might seem difficult in some respects, but putting forth an effort to make new memories, utilizing the right tools, and making a commitment to communication can help make the distance feel shorter.
Create New Memories and Routines
Parenting from a distance can lead some to feel like they are letting go of what their relationship with their kids once was. Even if you don't have your kids staying with you on a regular schedule, physically being together isn't your only way to stay connected and maintain a close relationship. Create a new routine that involves connecting with your kids on a regular basis. This may include phone calls, video chats, emails, and text messages. Communicate with your kids as often as possible. This might mean giving them a call before bedtime or a few hours of video chatting a few days a week. If your kids are older and glued to their cell phones most of the time, send little messages that they can receive on their phone throughout the day. You might just remind them to have a great day, or you may share a photo or a link to a funny story you read online, always being mindful to keep what you are sending age-appropriate. More than just chatting, you can also connect wth your kids doing things like playing games online or watching a movie together. Sending letters and packages is also a nice way to stay connected and to give your kids something tangible that they can keep with them to remind them of you. If you live too far away to be with your kids on a regular schedule, carve out some time so that you can come visit them or have them stay with you for a while. You may even decide to go on a trip together. Creating these new memories and parts of your routine will help to make the distance feel much less difficult to deal with.
The Right Technology Can Help
Today, communicating with kids or a co-parent from a long distance isn't nearly as hard as it was in years past. Cell phone calls, video messages, emails, and texts are just some of the things that keep families together even when apart. However, when a divorce or separation is the main cause of the distance, communication can grow complicated if the right technology isn't in use. Created for families who are separated by any amount of distance, the OurFamilyWizard website provides tools to help all members of a family to stay connected. Accounts specifically designed for kids and other family members such as grandparents or aunts/uncles have the right amount of access to send messages between each other and both parents within one central, private location. As a parent on OFW, you are able to connect with your kids at a distance by sending video files and photos, all while having this correspondence securely stored so that you or your kids can always come back to it again later on. Also, keeping up with your family's schedule has never been so easy when using OFW. The calendar allows you to schedule phone calls or video chats with your kids, plus you can stay up-to-date about what is going on in their school and extracurricular schedule.
Communicate With Your Co-Parent
Even if you ended your relationship with the other parent partly due to poor communication, now is when you must look for some way to make communication work. Being able to talk with your co-parent about your kids is especially important if you cannot be there all of the time. Your co-parent will be able to keep you updated on more than just what your kids can share. This might include details about their health, behavior, and parenting costs. If you are the parent who is with your kids for the majority of the time, work to put emotions and other issues from the past aside in order to adequately share all of this information.
Using OFW, communicating with your co-parent is made easy from a distance. Tools like the Info Bank let you record lots of short but rather important details such as medical histories, clothing sizes, school schedules, and so much more. There, you can also upload copies of report cards, homework, and art projects, and share it with your co-parent. Use the Expense Log to document information about child-related expenses, and keep an accurate record of requests for reimbursements and other payments between yourself and your co-parent. If payments for things like child support or medical costs need to be sent, OFWpay is there to facilitate your payment between one another while tracking and documenting each step of the payment. Most of the time, everything that parents need to communicate about can be done the tools other than the Message Board, but messages can always be sent when something cannot be communicated otherwise. Even then, messages are thoroughly documented and time-stamped, and alerts keep you notified when there's something new that has been posted for you to view by your other parent, your kids, or any other family member.
Living far away from your family is hard, and it's even worse if that includes your kids. Keeping families connected even when apart is part of what OFW was built to do. OFW can help you to create new memories and routines with your kids, stay on top of what's going on in their lives, and even maintain open lines of communication with your co-parent. Learn more about how long distance families can use OFW to keep connected.