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Technology can aggravate poor parental behavior

Maryland residents, just as the rest of the country, have become more and more dependent on technology as a primary tool for communication. A professor of human development at the University of Missouri has published a study after interviewing 49 divorced parents. He found that poor parental behavior was exacerbated by the use of technology such as e-mail and texting to withhold or manipulate information from the other parent.

However, technology was also effectively used by parents who were able to set aside their own feelings and focus on their child's best interests. Those parents were able to use technology to coordinate effective exchanges of information regarding their child and to keep each other up to date on their child's activities.

The study's author notes that technology can be a very effective tool for parents to utilize in issues relating to child custody, co-parenting and visitation. The use of e-mail can allow parents to communicate quickly and effectively without involving the children in any verbal altercations between the parents which is more likely to occur when the parents are speaking face-to-face or on the telephone. The other tremendous benefit to e-mails is that a permanent record of the communication and particular agreement of the parties is created which can be referred to if need be for clarification at a later date.

A good post-divorce relationship can be absolutely crucial when a couple will remain as co-parents for their children. If a couple with children is going to get divorced, they may as well face the fact early on that they will have to interact even after the process is completed for the benefit of their children. Technology can be a useful tool for parents engaged in co-parenting during and post-divorce.

Source: Futurity.org, "Technology makes talking tricky for co-parents," Jesslyn Chew, Aug. 27, 2012

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