I love to hear from my readers. I am enjoying the comments I have received on the blog page of my newsletter and the LinkedIn groups. I cannot reply to all the parenting questions I receive but today I am going to tackle one that I think is important for many of you. The children of divorce who thrive are most often those who maintain a parenting relationship with both parents. Today, one father, wants to see how he can connect with his child even when not physically with her. I will look forward to your comments.
I am looking forward to going to Las Vegas in early March, to Ottawa in May, very possibly a trip to Calgary in the late Spring. I will be in Washington state and Oregon in August and Winnipeg in December. If you have an event around these time and would like to take advantage of my travels please contact me. I’d love to work with you.
Children of Divorce Benefit from Connection with Both Parents
I am separated from my daughter who just started Grade One. How can I get involved or help her with her schooling over the phone? I’m looking for ideas to get her to tell me about what she is learning.
Keeping in touch with your daughter is the most effective tool you have. She needs to know that although you’re not physically present you do care about her. This alone will help her learn because she’ll be feeling positive about her relationship with you. When she can read and write you can add email and texts to your communication strategies.
Asking questions is the most tempting but usually ineffective way of getting information from children. In the first place they don’t see their school day as a series of learning experiences so they’re not sure what you want to hear. Also, let’s face it; some days are just routine, nothing outstandingly interesting happens. So when you ask what she learned today and she says nothing the conversation hits a brick wall.
Some children feel interrogated by questions and are non-responsive. When we ask kids a bunch of questions about their day, they can feel as if they are in a witness box and there are right answers and wrong answers.
It’s much better to just converse and listen. By simply listening to her, you will start to hear her use new words and phrases and notice her ability to express herself will slowly improve. When you notice her using a new idea or talking about a new skill you can ask more. Questions such as, what do you like best about adding? or do you have a favourite story? may encourage discussion.
Stay in touch with the school to find out what’s happening.
You may want to supplement your phone calls with email or using the regular post. Send her books that you can then talk about over the phone. Have her send you some of her schoolwork which you can assure her is proudly displayed on your fridge.
Knowing that you care about her and her education is the most important gift you can give her.