Blog

6 Ways to Have Rewarding Virtual Parenting Time During COVID

Getting the Most From Virtual Parenting Time During the Pandemic or From a Distance

Enjoying regular time with both parents has been shown to increase a child’s self-confidence and sense of stability. This is especially important for the roughly one in four kids who will experience a parental divorce/permanent separation before turning 18. However, some separated families have had to switch to virtual parenting time to keep everyone safe during the pandemic or where the parents live far away from each other These tips can help ensure that your virtual parenting time is a rewarding and fun experience for everyone involved.

Make Sure Everyone Is On Board

Virtual parenting time tends to go more smoothly when the custodial parent is committed to it as well. Their ability to help set up technology and find devices for a virtual visit will make things a lot easier, so it may be worth getting your family law attorneys involved. Having divorce lawyers who can help you sort out a virtual parenting time schedule may keep tensions from getting in the way of much-needed family time.

Another reason to enlist the other parent for help with video calls is that these sessions go best if you pick a time when your child is in a good mood and not rushed. If your child is younger, try to select a time when they are not hungry, tired, or in a hurry. You may need to be flexible with your visiting schedule, but selecting a time that works for your child and their other family members helps everyone get the most from virtual parenting time.

Find Ways to Connect With Your Child in Conversations During Parenting Time

If you have a grumpy teen or hyper toddler, the idea of sitting down for a formal video conversation may feel intimidating. No matter how well you connect with your child in person, the structured feel of a video call can make it tricky to chat. Many parents mention to their family law attorneys/lawyers that virtual family time feels pointless because they just ask questions while their child answers in monosyllables.

To actually spark a conversation, you need to go beyond routine questions like “How was school today?” Most children love the opportunity to talk about their hobbies and interests. Ask them what sorts of games, toys, and projects they have been enjoying lately. It is perfectly fine if you do not know much about their interests since many kids appreciate the chance to explain their passions to an adult. Try to share a little from your day-to-day life as well. Simple things like pictures of the ducks you saw outside can help children feel like they understand and are involved in your life.

Consider How to Connect Via Video Parenting Time With Toddlers and Infantsparenting time

If your child is under 4 or 5, video calls may take a bit of extra work. Children as young as 8 months have been shown to enjoy video calls, ¬†even though they do not fully understand what is going on. One of the secrets to having rewarding video calls is knowing how to adjust your behavior to suit your child’s needs. First, you’ll need to be patient and expect your child to get through a few sessions before they start to really interact via video chat.

When you call for virtual parenting time, focus on looking into the camera. This is different from looking at the screen. While it’s tempting to spend your time looking at your child, focusing on the camera provides a sense of eye contact that younger children love. You also need to make sure you are close to the camera and clearly lit. Use a lot of gestures as you talk and move around a little. This helps younger children recognize you instead of just seeing a talking head. Be prepared to repeat phrases , sing songs, play peek-a-boo, and find other ways of engaging young children.

Play Games Together

Most children and adults tend to prefer video calls that are more than just a back-and-forth conversation. A game is a fun, low-stakes way of getting your child to interact with you during COVID or long distanceparenting time. By including activities in your virtual parenting time, you make it into a fun and memorable event. Another perk of playing games together is that it gives you something to talk about even when you’re outside of the game. You can have your child pick a game for you to play together, or you can explain an old favorite to them.

The easiest way of gaming virtually is often just setting up a classic board game, calling your child, and then playing together. However, video games and new technology also provide you with a lot of other exciting opportunities. Tools like MSN Messenger have built-in games like Uno and chess. You can also get involved in actual video games, like Minecraft or Fortnite, together. There are all sorts of helpful programs designed to facilitate video calls alongside video gaming. Programs like Discord let you create a lobby, start video calls, and then send an invitation to play a game directly.

Read a Book Virtually

Reading a book with a child can always be an excellent bonding experience, and research has found that children whose parents read with them also get better grades in school. Fortunately, this beneficial and entertaining activity is very easy to do virtually. You can sit down with one of your child’s favorite books and read to them as you show the pages through the camera. For older children, encouraging them to read to you can also be entertaining. It may even be an excellent way to create a lifelong love of learning that helps your child in the future.

Reading books is also an excellent way of communicating with your child. Divorce attorneys frequently suggest parents read books like “Two Homes” or “My Family Is Changing” to younger kids to help them explore the concepts around divorce. Books on topics such as family, growing up, starting school, or disagreeing with friends can help your child grow and mature. After you read, chat with your child about the book and use it as a launching point for discussions.

Sit Down for a Meal

Another fun idea for video calls with kids is having a meal together. If possible, work with the other family members to create a menu ahead of time so that you and your child can eat the same thing. Then, set up a tablet, phone, or webcam so that it shows you and your plate. As you and your child eat, you can interact with each other and get a sense of togetherness.

For younger children, you might not even need food to turn a virtual meal into a fun experience. Younger children often love playing pretend, so it could be fun to try having a fake meal as well. Doing things like pretending to hand a snack through the camera or sipping from a teacup can be a major source of amusement for younger children.

If you would like help arranging virtual parenting time or adjusting your custodial agreement, reach out to Lawrence Law Firm. Our divorce attorneys work with clients throughout New Jersey and handle a variety of cases. In addition to custodial arrangements, we can assist with divorce mediation, alimony negotiations, property division, prenuptial agreements, and more. To find divorce lawyers you can trust, fill out our online contact form or give us a call at 908-645-1000. We have offices in Watchung and Red Bank.

Back to Blog
SHARE THIS POST:

Related Posts

Blog
How Relocation Works in Custody Cases

Out of State Relocation for New Jersey Parents In a 2017 decision, the New Jersey Supreme Court drastically changed the law that applies to out-of-state relocation with a child after a divorce. Both parents should know how the law now works and their rights in case one parent wants to move out of state with…

Read More
Blog
Grandparents Can Petition for Visitation and Custody

Throughout the United States, there are over 2.7 million grandparents who are raising their grandchildren. Sometimes, individuals do not have ready access to the grandchildren, or they feel that they need to involve the court to gain custody. When that happens, grandparents have the right to file a motion in court to have a hearing…

Read More
Blog
Can You Adopt Your Partner’s Child in a Same-Sex Relationship?

Can You Adopt Your Partner’s Child in a Same-Sex Relationship? According to the federal government, 15% of same-sex couples have children as a part of their household. This could include children who were adopted or biologically conceived by one or both of the parents. In that case, there are parenting issues at play if the…

Read More
Blog
Why Courts Order Supervised Parenting and How It Works

Why Courts Order Supervised Parenting and How It Works Even though only about 10% of child abuse allegations are substantiated, courts will perceive that there is a risk to the children in a number of circumstances. When this happens, they may order supervised visits. Here is what you need to know about supervised parenting. It…

Read More
Blog
Custody Challenges for Unmarried Parents

Up to 40% of children in the United States are born outside marriage, and the rates are rising. This presents some unique issues in custody cases, even though there are many similarities to custody issues between married parents. You should seek the advice of a divorce lawyer if you are an unmarried parent who has…

Read More
Blog
How the Best Interests Test Works

The Best Interests of the Child Test in New Jersey The concept of best interests of the children actually comes from a United Nations Convention, and it’s applied in all states. Beyond that, many people don’t know what it means. Below is an explanation of the test and how it is used in New Jersey…

Read More

Disclaimer and information can be found here, including links to descriptions and selection methodologies. No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.
Call Now ButtonCall Us