Using easy connectivity to raise your children after a divorce
In popular culture, we're seeing more and more depictions of the family connected, not by their shared DNA, but through technology. Parents call their kids to dinner, check their homework, scheduling play-dates and practice carpools using computers, smartphones and tablets. For a growing segment of divorced couples, using technology to share parental responsibilities is on the rise as well. How they use it, however, is another issue that needs resolving.
Researchers are now finding that there are segments of the divorced population that are using tools like the internet and social media to manipulate their kids into believing something wrong about the other parent. They suggest that divorce lawyers and mediators now spend time with divorcing couples with children to make them understand how to make things easier for them… as well as attempt to prevent the things that will make it harder.
"Technology makes it easier for divorced couples to get along, and it also makes it easier for them not to get along," said Lawrence Ganong, a professor of human development and family studies at Missouri University. "Parents who use technology effectively can make co-parenting easier, which places less stress on the children. Parents who use communication technology to manipulate or withhold information from the other parent can cause pain to the child."
The divorcees using technology the right way note that they use email and text to organize child transfers and information, even going as far to share online calendars to make sure things go on without a hitch. However, those who use it as a tool for fear actively tell their children that they never got an email the other parent sent about an event, or use fake messages to show their kids a slanted view on reality. This can mess up the kid for good.
"Parents who are hostile need to set their feelings aside and understand that they need to communicate effectively in order to protect the emotional well-being of their children," Ganong said.