If you can’t be with your child

If you are finding it difficult to see your child on a regular basis because of a difficult relationship with your child’s other parent, or you are living out of the country or at a distance, then the tips below are for you:

Letters

  • Don’t forget to write regularly
  • For younger children, choose nice stationery, or computer art, stickers, coloured pens, etc.

Videos/DVDs

  • Record a video or DVD of yourself doing things or making a special message.

Phone calls

  • Make sure that you listen as well as talk
  • Try to keep up-to-date about their school and their friends; if you’re stuck for conversation, share a book or video with them and discuss it on the phone
  • Many children have mobile phones – so you could keep in touch by a text message.

Accommodation

  • When you see them, make the home you live in as family-friendly as possible – toys, spare clothes, etc. Try to make sure they have their own space if possible.

Birthdays and special occasions

  • Remember the special days; you can make them more special by being thoughtful about the things you send. A card or letter will also show that you are thinking of them.

Sometimes being a parent can be very stressful. Children may not be appreciative of all the effort you put into it. It’s normal, so try not to give up. You can try to re-open channels of communication or consider moving closer. You could also use mediation to help you to discuss matters, only resorting to going back to court if absolutely necessary.