When you're the parent who doesn't live with your kids full time, it's important to let them know, every chance you get that you love them and they are the most important things in your life.
In today's world of technology it's easier than ever to accomplish this:
1. Texting. If your children are old enough to have cell phones, text them every once in a while with little notes of encouragement, love, and that you’re proud of them.
2. Phone calls. I make it my business that whenever my kids call me, thanks to caller ID, to answer their calls and if for some reason I'm not able, whether they leave a message or not, I call them back as soon as possible. It's a great way to reaffirm how important they are to you. My kids know this about me, as a matter of fact once when I couldn't answer, when I spoke to my son about 15 minutes later, he said he was surprised that I didn't answer, since I almost always answer when he calls. If you have a child that calls a lot and usually about nothing, you can set up times that are better for you to talk. Even though it may be nothing to you, it means a lot to them.
3. Don't take it personally if they don't call or text you. You be the one who initiates contact, there are may be reasons they don't call you — like they don't want to "bother you," or they may think you don't care. Just keep communicating with them. When they do call, be excited and positive. As parents we feel like they usually call when they need something, even if this is true, don't tell them that, they'll remember it and won't feel comfortable calling you just to say hi.
4. Stay away from talking about your Ex with your kids. Don't ask them questions about what your Ex is doing. Don't say a bad word about your Ex to them, they'll quickly lose respect for you. It's important for you to have a conversation with each of your children separately, that if there is anything that they ever want to talk to you about, you’ll always be there for them. Try to tell them without coming out and saying it directly that if your Ex is doing something detrimental to your children's well-being they should come to you and talk to you about it.
So let's re-cap if you don't live with your kids, it's important to stay in contact with them using text as well as the phone. And when you talk to them, stay positive. I usually coach people that it's all about you but when you add your kids to the equation, that shifts slightly.
Remember your kids are the most important people in your life, so now it becomes all about your relationship with them and how they interact with you. We have always been taught, they will do what you do not what you say, but in truth, and they will do what you do and what you say. You teach them how to act and speak by showing them how to act and speak and your connection will be strong.
More family advice from YourTango: