Remote Parenting: What To Do When Your Child Goes Away
Even if we pride ourselves on being independent, modern moms, it can still be really hard when our children go away. It could just be to a friend’s house for a sleepover, or they could be on a summer camp for two months. But whatever the scenario, it takes a lot of time to get used to them not being around. The house can often feel eerily empty – and even if you eventually enjoy the peace and quiet their absence brings, you can be sure you’ll need a bit of time to adjust. One of the reasons parents struggle so much when their children go away for the first few times is that we feel as though we can no longer protect them. Of course, the likelihood of anything bad happening to them is very small. But as a devoted mom the thought is always in the back of your mind. However, worrying and calling your child all the time doesn’t do much for their independence, and for yours either. Here’s how you can cope whilst your child is away, whilst still taking care of them from a distance.
Stay in touch
Overbearing your child with constant phone calls isn’t the way to behave when they have gone away with friends. But, it’s important you have a couple of ways to stay in touch with them, for the odd catch-up and if there is indeed an emergency of any kind. The first thing is to find out the address of where they are staying, and make sure they have memorized your address too. This way you will be able to locate each other should there be any need to. If they are going away with a summer camp or as part of a scheme, make sure you have contact details for the company who are running it. Giving your child a cell phone of their own is a testy topic much dependant on their age. But it may be worth giving them a basic cell phone for their trip, on which they can simply send texts and make calls.
Teach them about basic health care
It’s important that your child knows how to keep themselves fit and healthy when you are not around to oversee things. Teach them about the dangers of eating undercooked food and make sure they know to drink bottled water, if they are visiting a country where drinking the tap water is discouraged among tourists. If they are feeling sick or unwell, encourage them to speak to someone senior. It’s probably nothing serious, but it’s always best to get a second opinion. If your child is a little older, in their teenage years for example, they may be able to chat online with a doctor online in order to pinpoint their symptoms.
Keep yourself busy
You may be missing your child or children a lot when they are away. But this is their first step on the road to independence and you need to try your best to accept it. After all, they are going to fly the nest for good one day! So try and see it as a practice run for how you all cope. You may be impressed with the maturity they show, and you might be surprised at how much you feel like yourself again – rather than just ‘mom’. Spend some time indulging in activities that you can’t do that much when you have children to look after. For example, you could use the time to take up an old hobby again, or go on a long-overdue night out with your friends. When your kids come home, you’re both sure to have a lot to talk about!