Ways to Help Kids Cope When Dad’s Away

BY: - 8 Jan '13 | Home

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My husband travels a lot on business, and of course that means that we miss him something terrible and around here that means that sometimes the kids are a lot to deal with, even more so when he’s away. So, in order to help me stave of the restlessness of my little natives, I generally try to incorporate something fun for them to do that also helps to keep them connected. Here are a few things that I’ve found very helpful:

Face Time: Thanks to Apple, we get to Face Time Dad and not just talk to him, but SEE him whenever he has WiFi. The big kid gets to tell him about basketball and bring him up to speed on the most recent academic achievement. The sassy little princess gabs about her ENTIRE day, not allowing for much from Dad, edgewise and the baby sees his face and her face just lights up! It’s like MAGIC!

Where’s Waldo? No, Where’s Dad? The kids are at an age now that they are interested in different places and other cultures. So, without realizing that they are basically having Geography lessons, we take a look at the globe and see exactly where Dad is in relation to the U.S. Then, we find a world clock to check out the time difference. The internet is so amazing, we take it a step further to check out live cameras, so that they can “actually” see live streaming of popular landmarks and famous tourist attractions. So, when Dad calls, we get to brag about all the cool stuff he needs to see while he’s there!

Using the calendar to countdown: We don’t generally talk too much about Dad leaving, but we mark the calendar and surely countdown his return. We sometimes think of fun things to do when he returns, like bake cookies or make him a special handmade gifts. Nothing fancy, just something made with love, that is always guaranteed to make him smile. Quite honestly, Mom is generally counting down too…for more reasons than one. I miss my honey, but Mommy is glad to have a little respite!

I do all of this, so the kids still feel connected and it basically gives them something to do because he’s not there to “patiently” help them with homework or give them that coveted nightly piggyback ride. I think Dad actually loves the attention too. Who doesn’t love to know that they’re loved and missed while they’re away? On another note, I’d like to give a duly deserved shout out to all of the single parents, military parents, long-distance marriages and what I call the “married single parents” like myself, trying to hold it down and keep it together when a lot of it sometimes falls on you. I know its hard. I find strength in the “thank you’s” and the “I love you’s” that I get from my babies, especially my husband that recognizes and appreciates my efforts.

BMWK – do you have a spouse that travels? What do you and the kids do to cope when your spouse is away?  Do you stick to your normal routine? Or, do you take the opportunity the mix things up a little?


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