Losing contact with your kids?

5 ways to maintain communication with your family

For parents burdened by a divorce or a heavy workload, it is becoming increasingly difficult to stay in touch with their children and each other. Visitation rights might decree that a parent only gets to see a child every other weekend, or perhaps the parent returns home from the office so late each night that the kids are already asleep.

Additionally, children themselves are becoming busier and busier – extra academic studies after school, practice with the sports team – which further reduces the contact between parent and child. Whatever the reasons, a communication chasm is appearing between many parents and their children.

Community advocate and business owner Sheila Butler found that – like the parents in many of the other 40 million other ‘broken’ families across America – daily communication with her spouse about their children became next to impossible following her divorce two years ago.

“There were times when communication with my ex was difficult at best,” recalls Sheila. “The question I kept asking myself was ‘How are we both ever going to keep up with what’s going on in our kids’ lives?’ but there was no solution available.”

Sheila offers parents the following tips:

  1. Keep an ongoing involvement in your children’s lives.
  2. Try and have a window of information into your kids’ everyday schedules and developments.
  3. Keep an open line of communication, not just between the child and parent, but also the two parents themselves.
  4. Give your kids an added ‘security blanket’ by letting them see that Mom and Dad are cooperating and interested in their development.
  5. Enhance the safety nets – parents must stay in contact regarding important changes in their child’s life; such as a change in medication.
  6. Give children a sense of purpose. Knowing that there are expectations on their parents as well as themselves gives kids purpose and an increased feeling of success when objectives were reached.

Although being a divorced or overworked parent is never easy for a family, a little extra communication between parents and their children, and with some simple organizational tools, all families can enjoy closer, more loving, and healthy relationships, no matter what life throws at them.