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Social media and texting may benefit kids with divorced parents

Most parents in Texas are aware that kids love to text and use social media to communicate. They may also be hesitant about allowing them to do so. However, a new study suggests staying connected in this way may help children deal with divorce more effectively when one of their parents no longer live in the family home. Even though it's believed divorced parents' ability to get along post-split determines how kids cope with divorce, researchers discovered parental contact was even more important.

In order to assess how parental relationships affected ones involving parents and children after a divorce, the study team looked at information from several hundred divorced parents with teen and preteen children. It was concluded that it didn't seem to matter much how well parents got along post-divorce. Also, the frequency of communication was more impactful regardless of the various coparenting styles identified by researchers.

When parents communicated infrequently with their children, they were less knowledgeable about what was going on with their kids. However, when parent-child contact occurred more frequently, relationships improved. The results inspired researchers to recommend that children old enough to text or use social media responsibly should be able to contact the parent no longer living in the home. A psychologist not involved with the study agreed with the findings, noting that any type of communication matters to younger people, even when it involves social media platforms, text messages and other electronic and digital methods.

In most standard child custody arrangements, there are usually no restrictions on parents and children communicating directly via phone calls, texts, video chats and similar social media options. If there is a stipulation that requires that the custodial parent approve communication efforts, a lawyer may be able to negotiate modifications to an existing agreement to allow for reasonable exceptions.

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