Tech and Shared Parenting
Molly Rumbelow, September 23, 2018
Shared parenting and technology – how to make it work for you.
Technology. Whether you’re an avid follower of the latest innovations or not, there’s no denying that it’s changed our world and how we go about our daily lives.
As a parent, technology can be both a blessing and a curse. Being able to contact your kids through their phones provides great peace of mind, but dragging them off their Playstation to finish their homework can feel like a daily battle.
There is also an upside and downside to technology when it comes to divorce proceedings, and more specifically divorcing when you have kids. When used correctly, it can create a stress-free shared parenting experience. But, it can also hinder a conflict free separation if used in the wrong way.
It’s a good idea to think before you tech
We’ve spoken before about how when emotions are running high it can be hard to take a second and stop and think before pressing send on a message. Now, thanks to the advent of social media – it isn’t enough to resist giving someone a call or a text – you have to avoid messaging through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as well.
It’s not just direct messaging that can be difficult to navigate on social media. Chances are, you may have your ex-spouse’s family members and friends on these platforms – increasing the risk of seeing videos, images and updates that could cause tensions to rise between you both further.
Because of the pitfalls of using social media, it would be easy for us to advise that you don’t use it at all. But, we know that it’s not always that simple – you may use it to connect with family members and friends who live far away, and it may be a lifeline for you when going through divorce proceedings.
If you do find yourself still wanting to use social media, here are a couple of tips to how you can minimize the risk of it impacting your divorce proceedings:
- Check your privacy settings to make sure only the people you want to see your updates can.
- Even with your settings changed, try to avoid posting emotionally charged updates – always assume that your ex-spouse could get wind of what you’re writing.
As with any type of communication, it’s always a good idea to use the ‘write first, send later’ rule. Don’t post your update until an hour or so later, when your emotions have had a chance to settle down and you can re-read what you’ve written with a clearer head.
But, technology doesn’t need to be all bad
In fact, we think that technology can become an amazing asset when it comes to shared parenting and keeping divorce proceedings as conflict free as possible.
Thanks to Skype and Facetime – you may have more opportunities to connect with your kids even when they are with their other parent. You can know how they are and find out about all the fun they’ve been having.
We here at Civil Communicator have made technology the cornerstone of our product, using it to provide a safe space for shared parenting.
Along with our core monitored communication software, we also have a number of other features that can take the stress out of shared parenting and leave you to focus on yourself and your kids.
A shared calendar
Whether you have one kid or five – you’ll be all too aware of the sheer amount of in school and after-school activities that can build up. Playdates, sports, clubs – it can be difficult to track exactly who needs to be where at what time. This is why a shared calendar is a vital resource. It shows you exactly what needs to happen on what day, so everyone knows what’s going on.
This is a secure space where you can share any information you need that is relevant to both your divorce and your shared parenting. Letters and email from doctors or from school can all be uploaded here so all parties have all of the information they need.
Share expense report
It won’t surprise you much to know that money is one of the main bones of contention when it comes to both divorce proceedings and shared parenting. Even in the friendliest of divorce circumstances it can become an issue. This is why having a space where you can share all expenses that relate to the kids is so important. Just like the calendar and library, it creates an even playing field and means no-one feels left in the dark.
Using technology to your advantage
If you are using Facetime or Skype to speak to your kids while they’re with the other parent – make sure you have pre-agreed times in place. If either of you feels like they’re constantly being checked up on, then this can cause tensions. It may also place additional pressure on the kids if they feel like they have to answer every time you call. Agree a plan between everyone first and stick to it.
Consider whether it may be better to come off of social media completely, even if it’s just while the divorce proceedings are happening. If you decide not to, follow our tips above to try and minimize risk of causing more conflict.
We believe that technology can bring incredible benefits to shared parenting as long as it’s used to enhance communication and reduce the risk of wires being crossed. This is why we’ve created a product that allows you to share everything you need through one platform. Now there’s less chance of important information being missed and a better chance of creating a civilized shared parenting environment.