February 07, 2010

5 Rules For Using Technology To Navigate the Parental Relationship

by Jill Brooke, Divorce and Blended Family Expert

Technology can make parenting easier for divorced families. Just ask the divorced parents who use online video tools so they never have to go another day without seeing their child's face. But with most things, there are a few rules which will help keeps things positive.

  1. If you want to speak to your child at bed time, especially when it is not your night, arrange a predetermined hour and be consistent. This way your ex can manage expectations knowing that Malcolm or Maddie will get a text or call at 8 p.m. and prevent a disruption of their own time with the child.
  2. On vacations, respect the time that the child has with the parent. Do not call all the time. Try to contact them at night instead of during day activities which can impact the rhythm of family life. Also, if you are taking the child far away, arrange a time when he or she can call the parent since time zones and cell phone coverage can be spotty.
  3. Some parents don’t allow a child to have a phone or a computer. If the non-residential parent wants to buy one when the child is at their home, the cost is expected to be paid by the non-residential parent.
  4. Do not grill your child about what your ex may have said to them after the conversations. As hard as this is to accept, your child should not be burdened with this pressure and it is your job to preserve their innocence. Any conversations between parents should be out of earshot of the child. (And remember, kids have a large earshot!)
  5. Love your child more than you hate your ex. Realize that tech communication has the advantage of taking the emotion out of exchanges, allowing you to focus solely on the needs of the child.

Being on the same wavelength is not only limited to shared interests but as it turns out – being on the same frequency. Yes, technology has helped increase the frequency of parental communication and for many divorced children, instead of “gtg,”  parents can say “ c u ltr xx.”

If your family straddles multiple households, Cozi might be just the family organizer you’ve been looking for to facilitate communication and simplify life. Find out how Cozi can build a bridge for divorced families and get started with Cozi today.

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