Co-parenting is a difficult thing for ex-couples even without involving the additional hurdles that military life brings into the equation. One of the biggest related issues involves the distance that families may end up spread apart.
Military parents have to move often, and may sometimes relocate to places far away from the custodial parent and their child. In these cases, how does co-parenting work?
Focus on maximizing quality of time
Onward App focuses on long-distance co-parenting, which many military parents have to deal with. The distance often spans hundreds or even thousands of miles, making it virtually impossible for the military parent to physically see their children as often as they want.
In such a situation, it is important for the parent to switch from the mindset of “time quantity” to “time quality”. Basically, even though the parent will get less overall time with their children, they can work to maximize the quality of the time they do have.
How to build meaningful moments
There are several ways for a parent to do this. First, make sure the child has a high level of comfort with the frequency and form of communication. Some kids want to hear from their parents every day, while others may need a little space. Some like video chats where they can see their parent, and others may prefer text or instant messaging instead.
Next, a parent should always focus on their child’s life. Remember important dates. Remember their friends. Listen to their problems and celebrate their accomplishments. Go out of the way to let them know they have understanding and an ear when they need one.
In taking these steps, it is possible to build a strong and flourishing relationship even at a distance.