Hi Folks,

I recently worked on an article with Tamekia Reece from Parents Magazine about how children and parents can make work- travel feel less cumbersome on the family unit (see http://www.parents.com/parenting/work/how-to-prepare-kids-when-parents-travel-for-work/). After speaking with Ms. Reece I began to reflect more on why travel is so difficult on children despite many very concerted attempts by parents to depersonalize the relationship between travel and their fondness of their home life. Nevertheless, many children feel:

1. Work takes precedence over family time

2. Abandoned by the traveling parent, especially when time zones are so different that contact and communication are difficult

3. Confused about the “when,” “whats” and “whys” related to parent travel holidays, that can last for upwards of two months

4. Irreverent about the inconsistency of routines and discipline that comes with the territory of extensive travel

All in all, travel is sometimes inevitable in families whereby one parent is required to travel for work. But there are a few key things that can help ameliorate the tendency for children to personalize that the distance is about them:

1. Try to have a departure and return ritual that is special to the child that supports the bonding relationship.

2. Take your children on trips so they understand that you like to enjoy time with them as well–in a special and unique way–that is away from the home.

3. If possible, try to have contact on a regular and consistent basis to decrease anxiety regarding your activities and whereabouts.

4. Have a “download” before your arrival with your partner regarding your child’s week, so that he/she feels like you are still in the daily loop of lifetime happenings on the home front.

For more supportive ideas, please go ahead and click here to read the entire article: http://www.parents.com/parenting/work/how-to-prepare-kids-when-parents-travel-for-work/

Be well,

Dr. Stephanie

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