If your parents got a divorce, you might live mostly or entirely with one parent now, or you may travel back and forth to visit regularly. This change to your life might leave you feeling a little disconnected from one or both of your parents. You know that they love you, but you may feel alone and wish for daily contact.
How to Connect With a Parent From a Distance
To stay connected with a parent that’s farther away now, the most important thing that you can do is to reach out. With current technology, there are a lot of ways that you can, especially with the internet and smartphones available. Here are a few things that you can do, both online and offline, to stay in touch:
- Send text messages. If you and your parents have smartphones, you can always text one another to say hello, if you have a question, or just want to touch base. Texts are a nice way to stay in touch.
- Use Instagram, Snapchat, or another image-sharing service. You might need to get permission from your parents before you sign up for one of these services, but many image-sharing apps will let you make posts that can only be seen by your family. Try using these apps to trade pictures of your daily life with your parent while you’re away.
- Stay in touch with social networks. Sites like Facebook and Twitter are a great way for families to communicate from a distance. Again, get permission to sign up if you’re not old enough to sign up on your own, and make sure you follow good online safety and privacy practices.
- Use old-fashioned paper and write a letter. You can leave it behind for your parent to find when you move from one house to another, or even stick it in a stamped envelope and send it by mail if you won’t be there for a while. Your parent will love getting mail from you, and if you ask for a reply, you might start a regular letter-writing routine between the two of you. You can keep the replies that you receive to look at whenever you’re feeling down, and you can look back on your letter years later with fond memories as an adult.
- Leave a small note or two behind. Leave a stickie note for your parent to find while you’re away. It will make your parent feel nice, and you may find a surprise note or two of your own in return.
There may be other ways for you to connect while you’re away, too. A video chat can be a really good way to share from afar. Even a simple phone call or email every few days can help you feel closer when you’re away.
How to Connect With Your Parents While You’re Together
Staying connected with your parent while you’re together is important, too. Here are a few ideas for ways to make the most of your time with one another:
- Participate in an activity together that you both can enjoy. Work with your parent to set up a plan to do something together. It can be anything—a trip to the park, a hobby, or even just a little time to play a favorite video game together. Think about what interests you, and go from there.
- Talk with your parent while you’re together. Strike up a conversation, and see where it leads. Don’t be afraid to share your thoughts, fears, or worries about the future. That’s what parents are there for.
A Message for Parents
We encourage you to read the above guide with your child or teenager and talk about how you can stay in touch with one another when you’re separated by custody agreements. You can follow these tips, too, especially if you’re feeling disconnected with your child after the divorce. Though your marriage may have ended, you can still maintain a strong and healthy relationship with your child.
If you have any questions about the divorce process or have child custody evaluation issues you’d like to discuss, the Law Offices of Molly B. Kenny are here to help you. Call us to arrange a consultation in our Bellevue offices at (425) 460-0550.