A bright side to all that texting and social media, it helps keep children connected to their parents after a divorce.
Researchers also found when kids and the parent no longer live at home stayed in contact — it didn’t seem to matter how well the divorcing parents got along.
What was important to the parent-child relationship was communication between the parent and child.
In the past, mental health experts theorized that how well parents get along after a divorce can have a lot to do with how well their child handles divorce and the quality of a parent-child relationship.
Data from nearly 400 divorced mothers and fathers in the US was reviewed for the study.
The researchers found three types of co-parenting after a divorce: cooperative; moderately engaged and conflicted.
The study team also looked at several aspects of the parent-child relationship, including parental warmth and closeness; parental knowledge of the child; and inconsistent discipline.
The co-parenting styles didn’t seem to make a difference in the postdivorce child-parent relationship.
What did make a difference was the frequency of communication. When parents communicated — whether talking or messaging — just once a month or less with their child, they had less knowledge about their child.
The researchers suggested that if a child is old enough to have a cellphone, tablet or computer — the parent living outside the home should be able to contact the child directly.
The study was published recently in the journal of family issues.