Bonding with Your Child During Long Distance Custody
This article will share many different ways for you to bond with your child if you live a long distance from them. One of the biggest fears any parent has after a divorce or separation is how much their child will be a part of their life. This fear is often multiplied if you have a long distance or out of state custody schedule. Here are some great and creative ways for you to still be a part of your child’s life.
Become Pen Pals: Writing letters to your child is a great way to show them you care. Often your child will open up and share thoughts or feeling with you they might not otherwise. I recommend you to give your child a letter writing kit full of paper, pens, envelopes, and stamps. This will make it much easier for your child to write back or any time they feel like it.
Track the Weather: You and your child can track the weather where the other person lives. This helps you to feel connected to the other person. It is a way of knowing a part of one another’s daily life.
Read a Book: There are so many great books for parents and their children to read simultaneously. Pick a book together, decide the time period to finish it by, and then discuss the book. It gives you something to talk about and you will learn more about your child as you discuss the story.
Write A Story: You write the first part of a story, then email it to your child and have them write the next part. Go back and forth until your story is complete. Finish the book by having it published for each of you.
Set Goals: Your child has a goal to make the soccer team and you want to start exercising. Create goals together and hold each other accountable to accomplish those goals.
Use Today’s Technology: There are so many ways to communicate electronically with your child. Try email, text messaging, online messaging, Skype, Facebook, Twitter, etc. It is instant way to communicate with your child no matter the distance.
Watch TV Shows Together: Connect with your child by knowing they are doing the exact same thing at the exact same time. Pick a TV show you both are willing to watch and follow along. Discuss what happens after it is over. Watch a reality TV competition and pick a favorite participant, then cheer them on together. (Here are a few examples: America’s Got Talent, Dancing with the Stars, American Idol, X Factor, Master Chef, Amazing Race, So You Think You Can Dance, The Bachelor, etc.)
Play Games on the Phone: I play the question game with my children. One person asks the other three questions then switch turns. It is a great way to have fun, ease communication barriers, and even discuss serious issues they are facing. You can also play Two Truths One Lie. A player says three things about them self and the other player has to guess which one is a lie. Also Name That Tune is a great option as well.
Exercise Together: A great way to be healthy and stay accountable to fitness goals.
Care Packages: Everyone loves to get fun things in the mail. Care packages are a great way to create a personal touch. There are different types of care packages. Birthdays, half birthdays (these are fun and unexpected), countdown packages where there is a small present for each day leading up to an event or a visit, or even a package to just show your love.
Online Gaming: My husband and his brothers all play Call of Duty on line as a way to stay in touch. They egg each other on and have lots of fun. Find any game that can be played online together.
Grow Something: Plant the same thing on the same day together. Then take pictures of how your plant is growing and share it with each other. If the plant produces food, have a race to see whose plant grows food first. Or have a permanent item like a tree.
There is a world of options for you and your child to do together. Feel free to tweak any item on this list or create your own. The important thing is to communicate frequently and not just when your child visits.