Tips for traveling parents: Seven ways to stay connected to family

By | April 4, 2012 | Travel

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Tips for traveling parents - Seven ways to stay connected to family | The Momiverse | Article by Kimberley Clayton Blaine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s no secret the traveling parent has a challenging time staying connected to loved ones when leaving home is part of his or her career.  Children may become accustomed to having a parent absent for long periods of time but that doesn’t mean that kids don’t miss their parent dearly.

Here are some fun and unique ways for families to bond and communicate when a parent travels.

 

Make a travel calendar

The traveling parent can sit down with kids and draw a large diagram of where he will be going and what he will be doing. In our case, it was Dad.  Dad can sketch it and the kids can color it and hang it on the wall.  It’s fun for them to mark off the days until he returns.

Send emails or photos

How fun is it for a child to come home and know there may be a silly email or photo from Mommy? Or better yet a movie embedded in the email. With today’s technology you may want to consider investing in a computer with a built in video camera.  Children love to get video messages from their parent. You can even bring one of their stuffed animals with you, wave it in front of the camera and give a report on how the animal is enjoying the trip.

Leave gifts behind

When my husband travels I get my son a little trinket or toy and put it on his nightstand for when he awakes. He jumps up and knows it’s from daddy. Some parents are against this type of indulging, however, my son carries the toy with him all day and tells everyone that his daddy left him a surprise because he is traveling. The sweet love in my son’s eyes and the appreciation he shows is definitely worth the $4.99 that I pay for the item.

Make mini videos before you travel

The night before I leave for a business trip I make a few quick funny videos for the kids to watch while I am gone.  I do it on my computer and leave it for Daddy to play back. It takes five minutes for me to film and the kids truly look forward to seeing mommy on the computer talking when I am out of town. You can even have a friend or your spouse video tape and play it back on the camera for the kids.

Schedule “group” good-night phone calls

Call home ten minutes before the kids go to bed and have the family put the phone on speaker. All can join the discussion and talk about their day.  You can even sing songs or tell jokes to make the night end on a light and happy note. If you have a child under 2 ½ years old, you may not want to do this. Younger children may think you are home and will become distressed because they can’t see or be with you.

Prepare a welcome home meal with a theme

If mom is coming home from a business trip, dad can have the kids help shop and prepare a special themed dinner. If you know mom loves bean and cheese burritos, you can have a festive Mexican meal ready. Nothing makes mom as happy as knowing her family is thinking of her and honoring her arrival with yummy foods.

Make Dad’s favorite snacks

Dad probably isn’t getting any of his favorite snacks or food when he travels. Take the kids to to the store to help pick dad’s favorite snacks. You can also bake his favorite cookies. Dad will truly appreciate seeing his delicious turkey jerky and ginger cookies when he goes to grab something to eat. Make sure the kids help out, so they feel they are a part of the loving effort!

 

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Kimberley Clayton Blaine

Kimberley Clayton Blaine, MA, MFT, is the executive producer of the Go-To Mom series and the producer of the branded entertainment show www.MommytoMommy.TV. She is the author of The Internet Mommy & The Go-To Mom's Parents' Guide to Emotion Coaching Young Children. In September 2011, Kimberley was named one of the most powerful moms in social media by Working Mother Magazine. Currently, she has been a spokesperson for Lego Duplo, Disney Consumer Products, Schick Intuition, and Sony Electronics digital imaging. Kimberley is also a national parenting expert and a licensed Family and Child Therapist specializing in working with children newborn to seven years old.

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5 comments
samtayloru3
samtayloru3

Really helpful tips. My husband and I both have a touring job and it becomes difficult for us to take care of our children and parents too. These tips are really practical and useful too. Thank you for the ideas.  :)

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Marriott Dad
Marriott Dad

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Families often forget about the traveling parent when it comes to gifts. Keepsake item like school pictures and arts n crafts that mention “Mommy” or “Daddy” are priceless.


Gifts brought home should purposeful and meaningful. If they are not, they will end up cluttering a closet or backyard. Here is a book with all sorts of unique gift ideas:


http://www.amazon.com/The-Traveling-Parent-ebook/dp/B00D4ZZS0U/ref=s

Alvin_jones
Alvin_jones

Ik hou van alle tips die je hebt gegeven. Toen ik ben buiten de stad ik ben in staat om verbinding te maken met mijn kinderen. Maar nu zijn ze verschillen gelukkig als ik altijd verbonden blijven met het middel van telefoontjes, e-mails en koop cadeau voor hen na elke reis .. Denia

TheGoToMom
TheGoToMom

I love to give my kids the official 'hotel' tour from my phone or tablet. They get such a kick out of it!

TheHarriedMom
TheHarriedMom

Talk about a timely article.  I'm reading this as I sit in a hotel in New Orleans on a business trip.  Last night we actually tried a video chat which was so great, the kids were re-assured by seeing mommy rather than just hearing her voice on the phone.  I'll be sending them photos of where I am and what I'll be doing throughout the day...and hoping that they'll do the same for me!