Tips for Parenting Long-Distance

George Newman

Whether your children live miles away or you are often separated with business travels or military deployments, the following ideas will help you keep in touch with your kids. And come up with some of your own ideas -- think of thoughtful actions you can take to let your kids know you are thinking of them, to let them know how you are doing or what it is like where you live, and ways to get to know more about each other.

  • childinhatClip some interesting articles from your newspaper to let them know what is going on in your area.
  • Postcards are a great, inexpensive way to say, "I'm thinking of you."
  • If your child is beginning a new sport, send them a "How to" book or write your own tips on index cards to send them.
  • Come up with your own game that you can play whenever you talk on the phone -- it can be a quick quiz on capitals, trivia or a riddle.
  • Make a point to visit with your children's teachers the next time you are in town, or set up a phone conference or correspond via e-mail. Even if your children are great students, it's important to stay involved.
  • Watch T.V. "together." Pick a big sports game or favorite show and watch it at the same time (or a video tape if different time zones cause a problem). You can call each other a few times during the game and afterward to share what you thought.
  • Tell your kids a bedtime story. You could read to them by phone or even send them a taped video or audio cassette of yourself reading.
  • Send them their own correspondence kit. Even if you communicate via e-mail or phone, try to write each other letters as well. Maybe order customized address labels for your kids or buy them stationery with a theme they will enjoy.

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