The amount of contact non-custodial divorced parents maintain with their teen-aged kids may have a significant effect on their personal development. As noted by a University-based research study and reported by Science Daily, teenagers experience less emotional distress and behavioral problems when there is regular and frequent parental contact, even if it is long-distance and electronic.
In spite of any animosity that might exist between the divorced parents, research has shown that regular and frequent contact with adolescent kids helps to promote positive behavior. Because today’s teens are typically capable of using technology, it can be easy to maintain even a long-distance relationship between a parent and an adolescent child.
The forms of communication that teens tend to prefer are digital mediums such as Facebook, texting, Instagram and Snapchat. Although these platforms may not be readily embraced by all adult parents, they can be well worth the effort it takes to become familiar with them. Some adults may feel otherwise, but many teens will view the digital communications as a high-value connection.
As reported by United Press International, there can be a bright side to social media. Despite all the reports of teen cyberbullying, cell phones and mobile devices can be a way for divorced parents to stay connected to their kids after a breakup. Reassuring a teen that a parent cares enough to stay in contact and is interested in their affairs can reinforce positive attitudes and behavior patterns.
Specialized apps make it even easier for divorced parents to stay in touch with their kids. The Wall Street Journal reported on a variety of digital communication tools to facilitate parental contacts. To help keep track of appointments and activities, many of the apps have built-in calendars. Some even provide a pre-send “tone-check” function that uses artificial intelligence to alert a parent to a message that may be overly aggressive, upsetting or humiliating.