Long-Distance Parenting: How to Maintain the Bond with Your Child?

Long-distance parenting isn't easy, but we can put into practice certain recommendations to strengthen the emotional bond. Learn more.
Long-Distance Parenting: How to Maintain the Bond with Your Child?
Mara Amor López

Written and verified by the psychologist Mara Amor López.

Last update: 16 April, 2023

Parenting isn’t an easy task, but it’s even more complicated if you’re far away from your children. Many people, for various reasons, such as job relocation or the effects of a separation, must practice long-distance parenting. In families where the father, mother, or even both are absent, their children have to learn to live with these absences.

If the parents are absent for work reasons, it’s important to establish routines to maintain the emotional bond with their children. If this is done consistently, the bond can be strengthened. Children may understand this situation in a different way, according to their age, but we must find times that are suitable for everyone.

Long-distance parenting: What should we take into account?

We talk about long-distance parenting when one or both parents aren’t present in person in the upbringing of their child. It may be because they work away from home or because of parental separation or divorce. In both cases, it’s important that we take into account two fundamental aspects.

1. Communication

It’s important that there be good communication and that it be fluid, to make sure that the children are well. We must make it clear to them that they’re very important to us, even if we’re far away from them. Also, sending them gifts or things they need is a good way to show them that we haven’t forgotten them.

Long-distance parenting can be difficult, but it’s not impossible. The main thing is not to cease communication with our children and that they’re always our priority.

2. Keep your emotions in check

If long-distance parenting is due to a separation, we must be careful with our language and our treatment of the child. It’s very important to always control the negative emotions that arise when there’s a breakup. Especially if there have been disagreements between both parents.

If one of the parents, after the separation, has moved to another city, it’s crucial that they have frequent communication with their child. This can be through phone calls or video calls, among other options.

Keys to maintaining the bond with our child

If you’re a parent and, due to life circumstances, you can’t be physically close to your children and you’re afraid of losing the bond with them, don’t worry! Despite the distance, you can have a strong emotional bond with the child. Here’s how you can strengthen that bond despite the distance.

Invite the closest family

To compensate for the emptiness children may feel for not having one of their parents around, you can invite close family to important celebrations. Grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and other relatives will make this moment special, despite everything. Your child, as well as you, will surely enjoy the occasion.

Encourage family relationships

Encourage children to phone, email, or video call the family member who lives far away. Talking to the parent, grandparents, or any family member who’s far away and expressing how much they’re loved is vitally important.

Family members communicating via video call.
It’s important to have contact with family members that are far away in order to solidify bonds with the child. For example, with aunts, uncles, cousins, or grandparents, in addition to their parents.

If you make a promise to your child, you must keep it

Knowing how important the emotional side is, if you make a promise to your child, you must keep it. Otherwise, they won’t trust you again and will think that you’re not a responsible parent who keeps their word. Therefore, don’t promise anything you won’t keep.

Treasure memories of the moments together

When you can be together with your child, enjoy every moment, take pictures, and make as many videos as you can. This way, you’ll be able to remember it and give it as a gift later on.

Technology should be your best ally

In these cases, technology plays a very important role and brings us closer to the person who’s far away. In this way, it makes us part of their life. For that, we can use video calls, social networks, messaging, email, and many other possibilities. This will help you to have frequent contact with your child, despite not being able to be by their side as you’d like.

About long-distance parenting

Long-distance parenting isn’t easy. Being away from your children and family is a very complicated thing. In spite of this, you shouldn’t think that because you’re far away physically, you’ll also be far away emotionally. The important thing is to take care of that relationship with the means at your disposal. The advice we’ve given you in this article can be of great help and can benefit both you and your children.

Don’t lose communication and keep it frequent, as this will help you feel closer. Knowing that you have your family together, despite the distance, will help you to cope better with this situation.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Torre Cantalapiedra, E., & Rodríguez Gutiérrez, M. (2019). Paternidades a distancia: Malestares de padres separados de sus hijas e hijos tras la deportación. Estudios fronterizos, 20.
  • Gómez, K. B. Paternidades a distancia. La nueva realidad de los padres deportados. DIARIOS DEL TERRUÑO. REFLEXIONES SOBRE MIGRACIÓN Y MOVILIDAD. Pri, 114.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.