You don't have custody of your kids. You still get to see them on weekends and you visit them during the week, but it's not the same as living with them.
It can be hard. Here are five tips that may help you form a strong bond with your kids, even if you're not there as much as your ex.
- Give them photos. Take pictures of that summer vacation to the mountains or that weekend trip to a waterpark. Print them off and send them to the kids. Share them on social media and tag them. Give them concrete ways to remember the fun you had and show them that you care.
- Keep in touch directly. Don't send messages to the kids through your ex. Text, call or email regularly. Keep in touch even when you're not together.
- Get involved. Is your son or daughter's soccer team looking for a volunteer coach or an assistant? Step up. If you're involved in your child's activities, you create more time together.
- Don't be afraid to babysit. Tell your ex that you're happy to stay in on a Friday night and have movie night with the kids, rather than going out with your friends. Look at these weekends not as an obligation, but as a chance to get extra nights with the kids.
- Work through your emotions on your own. Divorce can be hard. Don't let your anger or other emotions change the way you treat the kids.
Your custody plan can address many of these issues -- like babysitting plans and obligations -- so keep these tips in mind when legally dividing time with the children.
Source: Family Education, "The Responsibilities of the Noncustodial Parent," accessed Oct. 04, 2017