Parenting From A Distance is a website created as a final capstone project by Lauren Shafer for the Emerging Media and Communication program at The University of Texas at Dallas. It is intended to promote healthy relationships as well as encourage positive and creative interaction between separated children and family.
Over the last 4 years, I have focused much of my studies on social issues pertaining to parental separation and social media. Studying the gender roles in regards to a father’s equality in separation, it’s represented in mainstream media, as well as being a non-custodial guardian to my husband’s daughter, this project has evolved into sharing the types of things we do in order to keep a strong bond with her while she is here or at her other home.
Parenting From A Distance offers information about how to stay connected, various mediums to use, and ways to engage when your family is not close. I suggest various crafts and projects you can do together or apart, and also share information found online that pertain to this.
In regards to separated families, the type of information I am interested in are the various ways families stay in touch with each other, custodial / non-custodial parents stay in touch with their children who live in a different home, as well as families separated by work or the military. This includes all forms of communication: snail-mail, video, phone, crafts, gifts, visitations, routines, etc.
Many of the examples seen on this site are various activities and crafts that I have created for my husband and his daughter. She has been the inspiration for most of my work, and I can only hope that our actions keep every member of her family close, and inspire another family to do the same. Many of the projects include multiple family members, strengthening the bond with her, as well as each other. Over the last five years, her family has worked together to maintain a creative and thriving environment, which has led to a positive and close relationship even though we all live hundreds of miles apart.
We couldn’t do this for her without each other, and I am incredibly thankful for the family we ALL are.
– Lauren Shafer