After a divorce, circumstances may mean that your children are no longer with you full-time or that you have to move a significant distance away from your kids. This is tough for both you and your children - but there are several steps you can take to make certain that the bond you share with your children stays strong and that they know that you love them, support them, and care about them.

Here are five tips for long distance parents:

  • Establish several forms of communication with your child. Don't fall into a habit of only calling once a week or only sending emails - remain in your child's life in as many ways as you can think of, possibly including phone calls, text, email, blog posts, social networks (such as Facebook), letters, photos, and video chats.
  • Avoid quizzing your child or asking "yes" or "no" questions. Just because you aren't physically close doesn't mean that you can't be involved in what is going on in your child's life. Keep up-to-date on activities, schoolwork, and friends while being sure to have meaningful conversations instead of just checking in.
  • Continue to share mutual interests with your child. Get creative! Read books with your kids over the phone, send them interesting articles, or watch a baseball game on television while Skyping with your kid. Think about what you would do with your child if he or she was under your roof, and try to recreate the situation. If your child shares a new interest with you, learn about it.
  • Keep your presence as a parent and not just a friend. Make sure that you know the rules of the house and that you are still involved in important decisions in the family when appropriate. Don't condone bad behavior or badmouth the other parent.
  • Make sure your kids know you care. When you are not around to go to games, give a hug, or tuck them in, it is even more important that you verbally share your feelings with your kids. Let them know that you are proud of them, that you miss them, and that you love them.

Do you have questions about your Washington State child custody case or parenting plan? Or do you need assistance with changing your visitation schedule? Contact a Bellevue child custody lawyer today to set up a private, no-obligation meeting.

Molly B. Kenny
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Divorce and Child Custody Attorney Serving Bellevue and Seattle Washington