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Parents: Get creative to stay connected to kids

Splitting your time with your children after a divorce or separation is a difficult adjustment, no matter how much or little time they are away. However, spending meaningful time with each parent is often in the child's best interests, which is why many Toronto parents will share parenting time.

To stay an active part of your child's life when you are physically apart, parents need to be a little creative. Depending on your child's age and the details of your parenting plan, you can communicate and interact with your child virtually.

Virtual connections

Today, there are more ways than ever to connect to people, whether they are across town or across the country. In some cases, all it takes is a phone, a camera and an app. 

Some ways parents might be able to interact with their kids virtually include:

  • Video chatting to say goodnight or read bedtime stories
  • Texting after a big test
  • Playing an online game together
  • Watching a movie or show together 
  • Chatting on social media
  • Taking virtual tours of museums or galleries together

This article has additional suggestions for ways people can socialize with each other virtually. 

A critical note on parenting agreements

Keep in mind that you must consult your parenting plan and court orders regarding custody and access to determine what boundaries or restrictions there may be on connecting with your child during the other person's parenting time. It can also be wise to discuss your plans with the other parent to avoid conflict.

If you violate court orders or if you upset the other parent because of how, how much, or when you are in contact with your child, you could wind up facing legal action and penalties.

It is also worth noting that if you are still in the process of creating your parenting agreement, accounting for these virtual interactions can be valuable.

Depending on your child's age, they may need limits or guidance on how to use technology, and making rules can help them and both parents navigate situations involving digital communication and parenting time more easily.

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