Ministry Resources

Tips for Parenting Long Distance

Author: George Newman

Whether your children live miles away or you are often separated with business travels, college, 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. These tips can be beneficial for those traveling away from younger kids back home, or parents looking to keep in touch with their older kids who have moved away for similar reasons.

Clip 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 career, sport or activity, 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 using the magic of streaming services (or a DVD if different time zones cause a problem and you can talk about it next time you are on call). You can call or video chat during the show, or after, to share your thoughts.
  • Talk to your kids before bed. It may seem silly, but often times when they are out on their own, a simple call or hearing the voice of their parents can do wonders to comfort them to sleep. If your child is younger, read them a bedtime story over webcam or phone to be apart of their nightly routine when you are away.
  • Send them their own correspondence kit. Even if you communicate via e-mail, phone, or computer, 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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