As the custodial parent of your child, you have a lot of responsibilities. While you may feel overwhelmed at all the tasks involved with raising a child alone, it's important to focus on the relationship your child has with their non-custodial parent. Below are three tips on helping your child to strengthen their relationship with the non-custodial parent and how you can play a key role.
1. Encourage Communication Outside Scheduled Visitation Time
Assuming that your child's non-custodial parent isn't required to have supervised visitation and is otherwise a good influence on your child, communication outside of scheduled visits can help to strengthen their relationship and continue their bond.
For younger children, video chats and phone calls can be a great way to keep the parent-child bond, especially if visitation is sparse due to distance or your ex's work obligations. For older children, video chats and phone calls can work, but emails and text messages may be more their style. It's important not only to allow this communication, but to also encourage it. Without encouragement, your child may feel as if they're being disloyal to you by reaching out to their other parent.
2. Include Your Ex in Family Decisions
While you and your ex-partner may not have worked out as a couple, you can still continue to work as co-parents. This will be beneficial for your child, as it shows them that you're willing and able to put aside your differences and do what's best for them.
Family conversations and decisions don't have to be monumental to make a difference in your child's view of their relationship with their other parent. For example, if your child is involved in a school sport but suddenly wants to quit, you're not legally bound to consult your ex on the decision, but including them in the conversation can be helpful to your child. It shows your child that they have two parents who care for their happiness and wellbeing and who they can go to for support.
3. Speak Well of Your Ex in Front of Your Child
The way you speak about your ex will make a huge impact on your child's own thoughts and feelings. Use this to your advantage and speak well of your ex when speaking in front of your child.
Your ex may not have been the greatest partner, but to your child, they're one of the most important people in their life. If you speak ill of your ex, this could create feelings of disloyalty and confusion for your child. Instead, it's important to speak well of your ex in terms of their parenting, such as how much they love your child. Remember, speaking ill of your ex won't harm your ex, but it will harm your child.
To learn more about helping your child to connect with their non-custodial parent, consult with a pediatric therapist who specializes in divorce and related issues. Contact a lawyer, such as Lisa M Pacione, Attorney At Law, for more information.