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Effects of Distance Parenting on Children

Hi all I have been doing research on the effects of Distance Parenting on Children. Unfortunately there is not a lot of raw data and  statistics that i have been able to find. I do have a vested interest in this area. What i have been able to obtain is pretty much straight forward:

  • Children want more contact with the non custodial parent (excluding violence and abuse cases)
  • Children feel that their feeling are divided and should not be.
  • Younger children do not understand that the logistics involved may and can limit contact.
  • Even though positive re-inforcement is used to tell the children they are not to blame and are not loved any less there is residual guilt.
  • Both parent need to maintain strong and open lines of communication for the children's sake. This is ideal but not always possible.
  • Children tend to tell the parent they are staying with that they want to live with them. In the case of younger children this is more of a "what you want to hear" scenario. In the child's mind they see it as pleasing the parent.

There is many more unanswered effects in this area and i hope to find more. I believe that this research will benefit children and parents alike.
To this you can add resident parent can easily lie to children and tell these lies allday everyday whereas distanced parent can talk on the phone for a few minutes  every now and then when resident parent makes children available. resident parent can also deny access which causes greater effect as contact with distanced parent is far less frequent

There is no substitute for actual contact

You can fool some of the people some of the time but you cant fool all of the people all of  the time unless they work for CSA and youre a Payee:)
From the information that I have read on this subject so far, aside from what you have already stated roosters_64, all I can really add from what I have read is the need for routine in contacts so that children know that when the contact is over that they will definitely be seeing that parent again (also the exact when, where and how should be concrete) and also (linking to the child/ren feeling as though they are not loved by that parent) that it is important that regular communications by the distance parent (email, telephone calls, video footage of yourself with messages to your child, cards and letters in the mail etc) is a weekly, even daily, thing.  I also read somewhere that as the distance parent it is good to try to have some form of communication after all sporting/school activities as a form of encouragement.  Would all depend on the ages of the child/ren and the ability of both parents to communicate well (like you also mentioned).  

You are right leroy, distance could allow a residential parent the ability to alienate the child/ren from the other parent if that was the residential parents desire and yes they could also stop contact completely or play games with access but like you know this unfortunately also happens in "non distance" parenting relationships and also "intact" families too.  These kinds of parents just need to grow up!!!!

"Never, "for the sake of peace and quiet," deny your own experience or convictions". Dag Hammarskjold
I needed help with my case and couldn't afford a lawyer and found these guys invaluable  srl-resources.org
I am a parent parenting from a distance.

I see the effects day in, day out on my children.

I am a mother who shares a robust substantial bond with my daughters (now 5 and 7) and although they courts decided it best they live with their father (joys of relocation crazy *raises brow*) I try to look at all the positives.

It's still terribly hard on the girls and for me yet, I try to keep everything routine.

I ring on particular nights and have one webcam contact. This way the know "Mum is ringing and I can look forward to this."

I send them special writing stationary and self addressed envelopes. This way they know this is Mum's special letters and all they need do is write and post as the envelope is already addressed and stamped to me.

We talk about how if they were living with me during the school day we'd only see another after school and that wasn't much time. Holidays are much more fun! More quality time to be had there.

It is hard to dodge the constant attempts of alienation by the resident father, but the girls are getting more switched on about his games.

I guess the hardest thing is answering questions such as "When are you going to die, Mum?" My youngest has a huge sense of loss already.

Or "You love blah blah more than me because you gave her one cuddle more."

The competition for my attention is extreme but that is to be expected given they aren't able to see me as much as they'd like.





Oh wow, I had no chice but to move from the state that my daughters father chose to move us to before she was born as I was constantly being mistreated in numersous ways and was made worse(beatings) by the birth of our child. I had no family or friends in that state except for his and all he wanted was his life back. I moved home to be with my family. He would wanted to visit every weekend, then fortnightly now its every three weeks. My duaghter being under one at the begining lost contact with him and therefore lost the bond that they had made (as little as it was) but I never stopped contact between them even thou it was extemely draining on me and my life, constantly having to drop everything to get to a computer to skye most times he wouldn't even let me know that he wouldn't make it that day and we'd have to shut down the computer. Once I drove an hour to get to a computer to have that happen. No sorry just a text. Rearrange weekend dates as he wanted to fit in a friends party or rave party held in this state. Its constantly having to fit OUR lives around him. Its like i'm still under his thumb, even thou he got his life back and makes no effort to "go out of his way" for our daughter. So not all parents that move state with the child/ren are bad, bad mouth the other (even thou sometimes his actions are hurtful and disrespectful). My duaghter can hardly remember him but knows that he is family (photos we look at together!) but has anxiety issues due to the bond not being there. It is extemely important to have a constant physical relationship between children and parent with children under one.  
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