Eric S. Neumann, APLC
More Than 25 Years Of Family Law Experience
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Bringing an absent parent back into a child's life is difficult

There are times when a parent doesn't have contact with a child. This might happen during a divorce, because of military service or a long-distance parenting relationship. The parent must be sensitive to the fact that the child might have some problems adjusting.

When a child is trying to renew contact with a parent, it is imperative that things be taken slowly. The reason for the loss of contact might come into the picture, so both parents should try to prepare for having to answer questions. This discussion might help to pave the transition toward reestablishing contact.

Set the plan

Before anything else is done, there must be a plan for bringing the absent parent back into the child's life. This should include ideas for helping the child adjust to the new way of life. The parent who has been with the child might share some of the kid's favorite activities or ideas for how to find things to do together.

Take things one step at a time

One thing that may help is to have both parents meet with the children so that they have a familiar face at the first meeting. If the kids are young, this may need to extend into a few more. If you are the absent parent, don't think negatively. It can help to shore up your relationship with the kids since you will have the benefit of the other parent supporting your relationship renewal.

Help the child with emotional considerations

Having a parent come back into your life is a major emotional strain for a child. Both parents are going to work with the child to ensure that they are adjusting well to the changes. Discussions can be beneficial so that they can voice any concerns. Remember to let them know that they can speak freely as long as they do so in a respectful manner. Help them to find positive ways to deal with what they are feeling.

It can also help to review the child custody order to determine whether it will work for the current situation. Modifications to meet the child's needs are possible and might help to improve consistency. Kids generally thrive on a predictable schedule. It also gives the parents something to refer to if there are ever questions about what should happen.

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