Here are five tips on how to stay connected with your children no matter how far apart that the two of you may be. Whether you live in a different town, or a different state, these five tips can help you stay connected to your child.
Tip #1 – Send them something in the mail. Every child loves to get something in the mail addressed personally to them. Whether you are sending a book, an article of clothing, bracelets, or candy, send them something that will make their day, that will make them smile. Send a little note along with it that says how much you miss them and love them. They will know that you’re thinking of them and it will help them feel loved. Just doing this once a month or every two weeks, or however often you want to do it, will definitely minimize the distance between the two of you.
Tip #2 – Read a bedtime story to them. This works especially well for little kids but even a teenager may get a kick out of it! Little kids love bedtime stories. Send them a hard copy of the book so they can turn the pages as you read it to them. This will help you both feel more connected and closer together. It is also recommended to ask the other parent to have a picture of the two of you near their bedside table so they can see you before they fall asleep. It just let’s them know that both Mom and Dad love me no matter whose house I’m at. If you can’t read them a bedtime story at night, read them a story when they wake up or in the middle of the day, but reading to them is something that you can do no matter where you are.
Tip #3 – Use FaceTime or Skype when you connect with them. Children love to see your face and video calls allow you both to walk around the house and show each other things. You can tell each other jokes or play games such as Would You Rather together so that you are talking about more than just how their day at school went. Find something that you can do together that is fun so that you’re not just talking about the same mundane things and not interacting with each other.
Tip #4 – Plan to be at a game, a play, a recital, a school event as often as you can, whether in person or through video. This may mean having to drive, fly, or rent a hotel room. If you are able to do this for these important events in their lives, do it. If you can’t then see if your co-parent or another friend or family member can video tape it so that you can watch it later. Talk to your child later about how great they did. You can point out the details that you noticed and your child will feel more like you were there.
Tip #5 – Praise them, uplift them, and give them words of encouragement. Tell them how smart they are, how beautiful they are, how much you love them and miss them. Before you call think about what you want to accomplish with the phone call and what you want the outcome to be. You want the child to know how much you miss and love him but you also want to look at how you can add value to his day. Kids love to be praised, they love to be uplifted by their parents.