Hello, It's Me
My friend Stan, who was raised by a single mom and a very involved dad, often said that he could never talk openly with his dad over the phone. His mom would be standing there – and he was sure – listening in on the convo. She was a wonderful mom, god bless her soul, but the divorce had ended on too much of a bitter note for her to trust her ex every again.
Modern day dads may find themselves in this situation, but they can also find their way out of it. In today's tech-savvy world, the telephone is probably the least popular communication tool connecting divorced dads with their kids. Fathers can give their children pre-paid cell phones to ensure contact. Permission to contact via email is also written into divorce contracts. Even if moms get in the way of communication, kids can always talk to their dads privately over the phone (away from prying eyes), email, or contact them on Facebook.
What if your kid is too young to have a smartphone or FB account? The solution is videoconferencing. Utah was the first state to pass the virtual visitation legislation in 2004, and Wisconsin, Texas, Florida, North Carolina, Illinois followed suit. This statute is a huge boost to long distance dads, who can read their five year old bedtime stories, watch them open a present, or assist with homework via videoconferencing. Nothing beats a hug and one-on-one convo with your loved one, but videoconferencing is the next best thing for divorced dads to get more involved with their kids.
If you and your ex hate each others' guts, and need some time before you can have cordial exchanges, don't do your convos over the phone. You don't want your kids to overhear the nastiness and get upset. Stick to email communications to avoid arguments and verbal warfare until you're ready for relaxed, genial conversations over the phone.
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