Sunday

10 Ways to Cope When Your Children Are Far Away

Whether your child or children are 3000 miles away in the United States or in another country, you miss them. People around you may not understand your sudden mood swings, your urges to get on the next flight out of town to see them, or your long stories about them to anyone who will listen. So how do you cope when you can’t be with your sons, daughters, or both?

One. Plan time in your schedule to make phone calls.

Surprisingly there are many parents who have children out of state and will rarely call. It’s almost too easy to be consumed by work and other activities and forget about simple acts to show your children you care. Don’t allow this to happen to you! Even if it has been a long time since you made contact, remind yourself to call them just like you remind yourself to pick something up from the grocery store.
Two. Write letters.

Don’t want to be bothered with the ex who wants to tell your child what to say when you talk to him or her? Would you prefer not to get into yet another argument with the mother or father? Write a nice letter that’s simple to read and briefly tells them about what you are doing and how much you love and miss them. For young children include stickers they make the letter child friendly.

Three. Draw or color pictures.

One of the best ways to relate to children is by doing activities they can relate to. How do you think it would make them feel if you drew a picture of something or colored one of their favorite cartoon characters and put their name on it? Sometimes we have to become child like to make them feel we care and that we aren’t so bad after all.
Four. Take photos of yourself.

Make faces, lay down and take a wacky photo of your eye or nose, or stand in front of something beautiful, ugly or scary. Young or old, children will love the fact you are sharing one of your adventures with them. Consider creating a photo book. You can go to any drug store and talk with the photo tech about your idea or search the Internet for creative ways to make your own. Also, consider t-shirts, mugs, and other cool things for them to use with your photo on it.

Five. Record video of yourself.

A simple computer webcam, digital camera, or a Flip Video camera will help you make this idea happen. Tell them about your day, read a book, or record audio or video of your side of the family conversing while commenting on what they are viewing. It will make them feel like they are a part of your world and help them keep you in memory.

Six. Send old photos from when you were about their age.

Now these photos would be different from the recent photos mentioned earlier, you want your children to begin to collect keepsakes from your childhood. They will be impressed at how young you looked and may even have some great questions to ask you during your next phone conversation. Two cool ideas are: creating a puzzle photo or printing photos on cards about the size of baseball collector cards complete with a description of the relative.
Seven. Send care packages.

Who doesn’t like packages in the mail? Whether your son or daughter is old or young, they will be happy to know you thought enough to send a package that may feed their stomach, stimulate their eyes, help them with a problem, or fit all three needs.

Eight. Decorate your workspace or another common area you spend time in with some fun photos of them.

Now while doing for your children will help you cope, here’s something you can do for yourself! Surround yourself with photos of your children. You don’t want too many or they may overwhelm you emotionally—just display a few photos that aren’t off in a dark corner, but not so noticeable that you bump into them. Be selective of the photos you display keep in mind some headshots can actually make you feel bad especially if your children aren’t smiling, or crying in the photos.

Nine. Choose a favorite song, movie or game you and your children use to enjoy playing when you are feeling down.

Maybe you loved playing a certain gaming system together, laughed a lot when you watched one of their movies, or danced together when a great song came on the radio, whatever you did, have fun for a moment and allow yourself to cry. Better to express emotions behind closed doors then out in the public. However, avoid the temptation to keep recreating the event when you start feeling yourself feel really bad.

Ten. Spend time with someone else’s children playing with toys and attending children related events.

One of the fastest ways to get yourself out of a bad mood concerning missing your children is to be around other people’s children. They will remind you of the good, bad, and ugly about parenting. A crying baby, a disobedient child, a loud toy, a hungry toddler will keep you on your toes! Visit the toy aisle and buy them something. The smile on their faces will do your heart good!
These ways will not bring your children back to you at least not now, but they are seeds you are sowing into the future. One day you will return to them or they will come to you and they will remember your efforts to be a part of their lives.

Lastly, if you have a faith, consider prayer. Some people have lost their children due to death, but they still manage to keep a faith because it helps them cope with knowing their children are in a better place than earth. You may want to lean on prayer to help you cope with the fact you are here on earth with your children and are having a difficult time getting to them. Pray for wisdom on how you can be together again with your children. A financial blessing, a frustrated former partner, unexpected time off from work, or a great opportunity can put you in the right place at the right time to see your children.

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Over 20 years office work experience, six years completed college coursework, background in print media and communications, recognized for exceptional attendance and received merit increase for past job performance, self-published author and part-time entrepreneur, Internet marketing and social media experience. Interned for non-profit organization, women's group and community service business. Additional experience: teaching/training others, customer service and sales. Learn more at Nicholl McGuire and Nicholl McGuire Media

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