Divorce isn’t easy but it’s definitely common in today’s society. Primary focus is often given to parents who have custody of their children. However, tips for non-custodial parents can be quite helpful. Not having custody doesn’t make one a bad parent. In fact, most non-custodial parents want to maintain active relationships and close bonds with their children.
Best tips for non-custodial parents involve respect
Children are generally highly observant. Even those whose parents’ marriages remain intact pay close attention to how their parents treat each other. Children of divorce, in particular, take their cues from their parents. Therefore, showing respect for your co-parent is a great way to build strong bonds with your kids.
If you’re always dissing your ex in front of your children, they may naturally pull away from you. Such situations can cause confusion regarding loyalty. If you make derogatory comments about the parent your children live with, they may start to feel like you’re against them, as well.
Pursue your children, even if they seem distant
Children experience a wide range of emotion when their parents divorce. Some may become more introverted than usual. As the adult, you can help rebuild your bond by continuing to actively pursue a relationship with your kids. Keep emailing, texting, calling and showing an interest in their personal lives. This helps reinforce your love for them and alleviates possible fears of abandonment.
Don’t wait for scheduled visits to be involved
When considering tips for non-custodial parents, we should always remember that you divorced your spouse, not your children. Yes, you are obligated to adhere to the terms of your court order regarding visitation. However, you have a right to stay closely connected to your kids at all times. Avoid being an absentee parent when it’s not your time to visit. Stay in contact and make yourself available to your children.
Choose a residence location close to them, if possible
The farther away you live from your kids, the more challenging maintaining a close bond might be. On the contrary, the closer you live, the easier it is to stay connected. It also makes dropping off and picking up a lot more convenient. In fact, some parents keep the house they shared in marriage. The kids live in it and parents take turns living with them in shared custody arrangements.
Time has a way of changing things
As your children grow and life changes, so will your relationship. Regarding tips for non-custodial parents, you’ll do well to remember that not living with your children full-time doesn’t mean you can’t be close to them. Take one day at a time and don’t be afraid to discuss problems that arise. Remind your children that you love them and are there to support them. Divorce may have changed your lives but it need not ruin your parent/child relationships.