Using Technology to Co-Parent

Technology is a tool that can enhance or frustrate co-parenting by separated or divorced parents, depending on how you use it.  Emails, web calendars and texts can be very helpful to keep your kids schoolwork, extra-curricular activities and lives organized.  But technology can also be misused as well.

A University of Missouri study found that some parents selectively pretended they never received texts or emails they wished to ignore.  Others terminated web calendar access for the other parent until they had scheduled the children’s activities on it.  These parents were using technology as a weapon to gain control or annoy the other parent.

found that ex-spouses who endured bitter breakups often used communications technology as a weapon. Some spouses would selectively ignore texts and emails — pretending they never received them — while others cut their exes off from web calendars until they had already scheduled their children’s activities.

“Parents who use technology effectively can make co-parenting easier, which places less stress on the children,” said Professor Lawrence Ganong, who headed up the study.  “Parents who use communication technology to manipulate or withhold information from the other parent can cause pain to the child.”