As a parent, one of the most difficult things to deal with is seeing your child less often after a divorce. Of course, there is simply no way for your child to be in two places at once, so it makes sense that you need to share your child’s time with the other parent.
With young children in particular, time away can be challenging. At younger ages, children do require seeing their parents more often to form good relationship bonds.
Psychologically, the quality of attachment relationships is the biggest concern for children, usually toddler age or younger, who are going through a divorce. To form a close bond, very young children need to be near to their parents.
Young children usually develop a primary attachment figure. This is the person whom they turn to when they need comfort. The trouble is that psychological research indicates that the qualify of that primary attachment can predict if a child will have social or psychological problems in the future.
How can you help your child form good bonds when both parents can’t be present?
One way is to increase both parents’ interactions with the child during their formative years. If you cannot interact together well, a good option may be virtual visitation. Virtual visitation can include additional visitation time through video calls, phone calls or other digital programs.
How could this help in your case? Think about things such as routines. If dad was always responsible for reading books at bedtime, having him call to read to your child at night when they’re at your home can keep that routine in place and reinforce their relationship bond.
It may be that you cannot have a visitation schedule where you transfer custody every two or three days, but you could supplement those visits with virtual visitation. This helps your child see and hear the other parent, even if they can’t be present, which encourages the bond to build over time. Both parents can take part in virtual visitation when their child is in the other’s care, especially when a child is young and may still be developing attachments.
Your attorney can talk to you more about the benefits of adding extra visitation through virtual means or about custody schedules that may better benefit your young child. If you and your ex-spouse work together, you can help your child form healthy bonds with each other.