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Making virtual visitation work for preschoolers

On Behalf of | Apr 8, 2024 | Child Custody |

Virtual visitation is increasingly utilized by co-parenting households to keep parents and kids in touch whenever they’re not under the same roof. This kind of digital parenting time arrangement is often fairly straightforward when the kids in question are older children, teens and tweens. However, making virtual visitation work for preschoolers requires a tailored approach that acknowledges their developmental stage, interests and the limitations of digital communication.

In an era where technology bridges gaps, virtual visitation can play an important role in maintaining a parent-child bond. When the child logging onto a video chat or story time app is a preschooler, however, it’s important for co-parents to be proactive in several different ways.

Establish a routine

Preschoolers thrive on routine and predictability. Establishing a regular schedule for virtual visitation can provide a sense of security and something for the child to look forward to. The routine should consider the child’s daily rhythm, including meal times, nap times and active play periods, so that times are generally favored when the child is most likely to be engaged and alert.

Keep sessions interactive

Engagement is generally key to meaningful virtual interactions with preschoolers. Activities should be interactive and age-appropriate, ranging from reading stories, playing simple online games, to singing songs or working on a craft project together. Using props such as puppets or showing them interesting objects can also capture their attention and make virtual parenting time more engaging.

Use visual and audio cues

Because young children may struggle with the concept of virtual communication, making sessions visually and audibly appealing can help maintain their interest. Parents can use colorful backgrounds, fun filters or play their child’s favorite music to begin or end a session, creating a joyful and comfortable virtual environment.

Foster emotional connections

Virtual visitation should not solely focus on entertainment but also on strengthening the emotional connection between the parent and child. Sharing daily experiences, expressing love and affection verbally, and showing genuine interest in the child’s activities can reinforce this bond. Encouraging the child to share their feelings and reassuring them of both parents’ love is crucial.

Making virtual visitation work for preschoolers generally requires creativity and patience. By tailoring interactions to suit their developmental needs and maintaining a positive, supportive approach, parents can better ensure that virtual visitation time facilitates their bonds with their young children and that it becomes the stuff that great memories are made of.