The Parent-Teacher-Child Connection: Long-distance parental relationship

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Long-distance parental relationship

Even more important than maintaining strong, close relationships between parents who live together most of the time, is the relationship between parents where one travels frequently.  The truck driver, salesperson, or military spouse find themselves on the road more than they are at home.  This absence can only erode an ordinarily strong relationship, creating pitholes of doubt and deception.  According to Peggy Schwartz, a sex and relationships expert, there are many ways to combat the woes of lovers living apart.  Some suggestions are based on hers and some are mine...
  1. Use Skype.  When it's dinner time, skype in the missing parent so he or she can have dinner with the family.  We did that when my neice had a baby shower and my daughter who is married to an army colonel, lived in Germany.  She wanted to participate in the shower for her cousin, she we skyped her in.  The transmisssion glitched a few times, but Theresa would show the gifts she received to my daughter by putting them near the computer camera lens.  What fun! 
  2. Videotape. Similarly, if your children are in a school play or concert, videotape their part and send it to the other parent, who can comment intelligently on the performance. 
  3. Write.  Yes, write - letters, emails, texts.  You can store these in digital memory and can refresh your true memory of a loved one's words.
  4. Watch the same shows.  If you all really enjoy watching a certain sports team or a TV show in the evenings, make sure everyone watches so the next time you talk on the phone or skype, you can discuss a common interest.
  5. Schedule time together when the family reunites.  It is SO important to have something to look forward to when you're on the road.  The humdrum work activities become very burdonsome unless the missing parent has a special event or family activity to look forward to upon return.
Keep in mind that the missing parent is hurting just as much as the family members who are left behind at home to cope with everyday events without that person.  Do all that you can to work together despite the temporary absence.

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