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Communication is key in long-distance parenting arrangements

In our last post we talked about managing schedules when it comes to parenting, but what happens if one parent lives far away from the child? This can seem like an impossible arrangement, but there are things parents can do to keep a healthy relationship with their children while being physically away from them.

There will be good times and there will be bad. Parents will have to find a balance of how to talk to children over the phone during the good times (getting an ‘A’ on a test) and during the bad (skipping school to sleep in). Instead of having a scolding attitude during every phone call, parents can enhance the relationship with their child by being an ally. This doesn’t mean agreeing with everything they want, but it does mean showing empathy and trying to understand their point of view.

Some days may be more challenging than others, especially when a child becomes a teenager. The child’s attitude may change throughout the years, but it’s good to not give up on communicating with them. Unlike decades ago, parents can now stay connected via Skype, phone, texting and emails. On top of that, there’s always the traditional snail mail, which can help add a physical element to the relationship, such as sending gifts or school supplies.

Long-distance parenting is obviously not the ideal arrangement for Florida parents and kids, but with continual effort and time put in, the parent-child relationship can stay strong even with miles between them.

Source: The Huffington Post, “Long-Distance Parenting Is Hard On Us All,” Susan Stiffelman, Jan. 14, 2014

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