Thursday, May 19, 2011

Bridging the Communication Gap

For many children, it is a difficult adjustment when Mom or Dad leaves the home and they don't get to see them very often.  The typical possession in a pending divorce and after is that the noncustodial parent has 1st, 3rd, 5th weekends and two hours on Thursday evenings.  Of course, this is a far cry from getting to see Mom and Dad every day when Mom and Dad were living together.  Consequently, divorces wreaks havoc on the noncustodial parent's relationship as such infrequent contact makes it difficult to foster a relationship with children, especially young ones.  We all know that the younger kids have a very short attention span and often do not want to talk on the phone long enough to have a meaningful exchange.  But there is options.  Attorneys are now proposing and Courts are approving the use of video conferencing such as Skype or Face Time, etc.  Some of my clients use Skype to read their children a bedtime story or just to catch up.  They report that the children are much more engaged in their conversations and although it's not the same as being there with their children, it's preferable to a quick hi/bye call.  Of course, it does require a computer, the proper applications, and cooperation from the parent who has possession when you're calling in.  Some parents are very protective of the time that they have the children and do not want the other parent to monopolize that time.  Both parents would be wise to foster the relationship between the children and the other parent but it is a delicate balance.