Long Distance Relationship

I’m not talking about a spouse or girlfriend or boyfriend.
I’m talking about being away from your child.
It’s not easy. But my #1 rule of thumb is, call them every day.
And even that’s not easy.

Firstly, it takes the will to dedicate to making it a habit to call your child.
Whether it’s every day before or after work, during lunch, or before your extracurricular activities.

Now, talking on the phone with a 3-4 year old is not the simplest thing to do.
You’ll probably want to ask the adult over the phone to turn off television when you call.
Talk about a major distraction.
It may require some patience when you first start calling your child.
Other people and toys and basically anything will probably attract a 4 year old more than holding the phone up to his or her ear.

It took about 3 months or so before my son even became remotely comfortable with talking over the phone.
Half of the time, he would clam up and not want to say a word.
It’s easy to take this personally, but: It’s not you; it’s the phone.
The other 40 percent of the time, he wouldn’t want to say much.
This is fine.
What I still do is say “Hey buddy, I just wanted to call and say hi – Tell you I love you and miss you.”
From there, it doesn’t ask much obligation from him and eventually we move on to discuss other things.

Currently, I have about 4 questions I always ask and if he doesn’t respond to anything else, I’m completely satisfied.
I ask if he enjoyed school that day, if he was good, if he learned anything, and if he was good for his mom.
Asking these questions every day, I feel, emphasizes the values I feel are important for him to be aware of every day.

Here’s the best thing, for the long distance relationship:
You probably guessed it. It’s video chat, such as Skype or Facetime.
This adds a visual connection and eliminates a lot of awkwardness for most children.
It’s not full-proof, but definitely set up a video connection with your child if you can.

Some other tips for being in this long distance relationship with your little loved one:

  • Bringing home presents when you know they’ve been good.
  • Wear clothes, jewelry, or keep art that they made you. It helps to show this off in video chat so they know you’re thinking of them and appreciate their art.
  • Remind them the next time they will be seeing you. Keep in mind young ones typically don’t have a great sense of timing.
  • Send them a gift in the mail. This is something I don’t exercise, and feel I should.
  • Make art for them. Even if it’s a doodle you drew at work, or a corny poem for them.
  • Sing songs with your child over the phone. One of my favorites was singing “Apples and Bananas.”
  • As you may guess, GET SILLY!! Your child will loosen up when he or she is not having fun, not having a conversation.

Anyway, Keep your relationship as strong as it can be. Don’t take a second for granted.

22YD

This beautiful featured image was provided by Ashley Swierczek-Bowns of Flickr

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