Nowadays, many parents agree on one thing – screen time and technology have become significant obstacles to parenting. They worry about the amount of time that their children spend in front of the phone, computer or television screens.
These worries are rooted in studies finding excessive screen time can affect a child’s brain development. While these are valid concerns parents must deal with every day, another study found that these advancements in technology can actually make a parents’ divorce easier on a child.
Simply texting children could help preserve the parent-child relationship
A 2019 study found that communicating through texting and social media allows parents and children to maintain a strong relationship after divorce. The researchers found that this was true for many families, regardless of the parents’ co-parenting style or how well parents got along.
Why does texting make such a difference for children? There are two primary reasons:
- The connection: Increased communication between parent and child helps the child feel more connected to their parent, even when the child is staying with the other parent.
- The frequency: With how easy it is to text or message through social media, parents and children can keep in frequent contact and always be an active part of each other’s lives.
Of course, parents must still make the most of the face-to-face time they have with their children during their parenting time. That in-person interaction is incredibly important. However, electronic communication can help support that relationship.
A few tips parents must remember
Texting is an easy way for parents to keep in contact with their children after divorce, but there are two important things that parents must remember:
- Parents should ensure they respect the other parent’s time with the kids. Messaging children while they stay with the other parent is not bad, but promoting the child’s relationship with the other parent is also important.
- Parents should also still make sure they reach out to their ex-spouse directly about important decisions or other issues in the child’s life. It may be stressful to speak with an ex-spouse, but parents should not send messages through their children.
Even though screen time might be a hard battle for many parents with young children, it may help families adapt after a divorce.