Long distance parenting can be difficult, and there may be stretches of time where you can’t see your child. During a pandemic, a little distance can feel even longer, especially when you can’t go anywhere. Here’s how you can adapt your current parenting strategy to support your child when they need it most. It will not only help minimize the distance; it can help you too.
Communicate Amicably With Your Former Spouse
An important part of parenting is communication with your former spouse. Even through you are divorced, it’s important to ensure that you are on the same team as much as possible. This time is stressful enough for everyone, so it’s important to have compassion and understanding. This effort will help everyone in the long run and minimize the stress to you and your child.
Have Regular Video and Phone Calls
When you’re parenting long distance, you most likely already have a parenting plan set in place to communicate regularly with your child. Even though you can’t visit them for the time being due to flight restrictions and a stay-at-home order, you can still keep in touch virtually. This will help instill a sense of normalcy in your child’s life and give them something to look forward to.
Answer Questions Your Child May Have
Undoubtedly, your child may turn to you for answers during this difficult time. They may express their frustrations, fears, and more. An essential part of parenting (no matter where you’re located) is being there for them. This can also serve as a great opportunity to explain to them what is going on at level appropriate for their age, and remind them of ways to stay safe. It may also be important to, as much as possible, ensure that you and your spouse are not giving conflicting information to your child or instilling fear, as this will only confuse and scare them.
If You’re Able To, Send Your Child Supplies
Supplies are scarce right now, and if you have extra supplies (that you did not needlessly hoard from others during your shopping trips) and it is feasible to do so, sending your child support in the form of toilet paper, masks, and cleaning supplies can help them and your former spouse get through a difficult time. Finances are also a good way to show your support if your former spouse is struggling, as this will also benefit your child. You can even make a small care package of their favorite goodies or write an old fashioned letter to send through snail mail, as this will provide a break in their routine.
Help With Schoolwork Virtually
Taking an active part in your child’s education does not stop for a pandemic. If your child is participating in homeschooling at your former spouse’s residence, taking over some lesson planning or helping them with homework can ensure that you are actively engaged in your child’s educational life. If they don’t have assignments from teachers, simple tasks like spelling and math flash cards or even reading with them over video conferencing are great ways to keep their minds — and yours– sharp. This may take a little coordination with your former spouse, but they will certainly appreciate some of the ‘parent as teacher’ workload being taken off of them.
Simon Law Group is here for you and your family during this rough time. If you need family law services, we can assist you at any time. For more information, contact us.