How to strengthen relationships with children when you are the non-custodial parent

If you have been through a divorce and you have children, ending up as the non-custodial parent may make it extremely difficult to maintain the relationships you have with your kids. Whether your divorce was amicable or full of tension, the reality is that your kids now live in another home for a good portion of the time, and you may need to make an extra effort to maintain a relationship with them.

Encourage communication

Although you may no longer live in the same house, technology makes it easier for your kids to contact you whenever they need to. Encourage them to call, text or email when they are missing you, and take the same opportunities yourself. Make regular communication a priority to keep up on the day-to-day activities in their lives.

Volunteer whenever you can

You may only have the kids every other weekend and once during the week, but that does not mean that you cannot get involved in their other activities. Volunteer to coach a sports team, stop by the school to help with reading time or offer to keep the kids if your ex needs a night out. Take advantage of any extra time you can spend with your kids to keep your bond strong.

Keep discussion open with your ex

Children should never be used as pawns to hurt the other parent, but this is sometimes the case when it comes to divorce. Although you have little control over how your ex acts, you do have control over how you let it affect you. Never badmouth your ex in front of your kids, as this can confuse them because they still love both parents. Discuss problems your kids are having together, and come up with solutions that you are both committed to. Your marriage may be over, but your commitment to your children is not.

Do not become the Disneyland parent

It is easy to feel guilty that you do not see your kids as often when you are the non-custodial parent, but that does not mean that you need to overdo things when you are with them. Try to keep your interactions as normal as possible, and avoid only doing fun things when you are together. Teach them to love being with you rather than to love what you buy them.

Set up a good arrangement from the beginning

When you make the decision to end your marriage, your relationship with your kids should be protected as much as possible. If you are considering a divorce and want to make sure your agreement involves plenty of opportunities for you to see your kids, we encourage you to consult an attorney today.

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