Please click here if you are not redirected within a few seconds. What does this song mean to you? There’s only so many songs that I can sing to pass the time. I hold close to see your face everyday. It’s so hard, you’re so far. This long distance is killing me. It’s so hard, it’s so hard, where we are, where we are, you’re so far.
Song Discussions is protected by U. And yet, it is a very real experience for countless numbers of divorced families. We live in a mobile society. Long distance parenting occurs for a variety of reasons. While all of the reasons listed above for initiating a move away from one parent may be at the very least valid and in many cases necessary, it is important for parents contemplating a relocation to also understand that there are consequences for their children. Children rely on their parents to make good decisions on their behalf. And they have no choice but to abide by those same decisions. When one parent initiates a relocation that relegates the other parent to being a long distance parent, children also become long distance children. The relationship they have with their distant parent will very likely change.
The parent-child relationship becomes more formal. Times together must be scheduled in advance and leave little opportunity for spontaneous moments of closeness that often occur in otherwise mundane day-to-day activities. For example, there are fewer opportunities for those heart-to-heart talks that happen on the drive home from an activity or while working on a project together. Spontaneity isn’t so easy accomplished for the long distance parent. Children lose out on having both parents in their cheering section – attending their events, checking in with school and homework, and generally knowing the details of their lives on a daily basis. This is a huge loss for kids. Children lose the balance that having two parents provides. It is well documented that fathers and mothers provide different perspectives and experiences for their children. Both perspectives are valuable and necessary for children to thrive. Children frequently lose contact with the long distance parent’s extended family, which for children is yet another significant loss.
Children typically have to travel to spend time with their long distance parent. They rack up hundreds of hours of travel time either on the road or in the air. This takes them away from their friends and daily routines. It also means that they may not be able to fully participate in sports or other extracurricular activities that occur on a weekly basis. And it makes seeing the other parent a BIG DEAL, instead of a regular part of the daily round. Some children feel abandoned by the parent who is not with them. Others blame themselves that a parent is not there. And others feel responsible and guilty for abandoning a parent by moving away. None of these are healthy reactions for children and may have far-reaching consequences for their adjustment and mental health.
If, after considering all of the alternatives, there is no choice but to initiate a move, then both parents must work to ensure that the relationship between the parent at a distance and their child continues. It requires focus, integrity, compassion and a commitment to the parent-child relationship. And frankly, sometimes after a divorce those attributes are in short supply. When parents are living in the same household, communication is relatively easy. And even if the communication isn’t great, proximity helps. If you see your kids every day you know when they are sick, if they got a haircut or a body part pierced! You know how school is going, who their friends are, what they like to do in spare time etc. Proximity also helps parents communicate with each other. When parents divorce, this automatic communication about daily life changes. If parents are hurt, angry or just not interested in communicating, the parent who lives away from the kids misses out on a lot of information.
long distance is it love