Being a parent, you always want to be there for your children but sometimes work calls you away and you can’t be there - a truly painful situation.
How can the busy, on-the-go parent who travels for business stay in touch with the family back home?
It’s tough, to be sure, but there are a few things you can do to make the impact of your absence less painful.
In this article we offer some tips for parents and business travel on how you can stay close to your kids even when you’re far away.
The first thing any parent should do with their children when it comes to business travel is be open and honest about the reasons for being away and how long you expect to be gone. Don’t try to sugarcoat it - kids will understand better if you’re up front about the situation in the beginning.
The second thing you establish with your children is some kind of accepted means of electronic communication - such as text messaging, emailing, Skyping, or even through social media like Instagram or Facebook - and then stick to a schedule. If you promise an evening Skype chat with your family back home, be sure to make that appointment or reschedule it as soon as you know you can’t make it. This is part of the process of being there for your children while you’re away and it works wonders for everyone involved. Plus it shows you are committed to keeping your promises you make to them.
Another idea you can consider at some point in your career, especially if you travel frequently, is to bring your children along with you. This might not be the most convenient business trip but it could be an interesting change of pace. Again, you’ll probably need to keep in mind the rigors of your trips as well as your child’s individual idiosyncrasies. You’ll be the best judge of whether or not this is a good idea.
One thing that many parents do that might not have quite the effect intended is to bring gifts or souvenirs from their work jaunts. This could prove expensive in the long run so you might want to start small, like keychains or postcards. The reason you don’t want to buy too many gifts is that you don’t want to give the impression that material things can replace your presence in their lives. In addition to the expenses incurred, this could put more emotional distance between yourself and your child.
Of course, the best idea of them all is to plan a trip with your family. Once you’ve completed your business responsibilities you can plan out a fun trip with everyone involved. One great travel and tourism directory, FunNewJersey, has tons of information regarding family travel and family-friendly activities in the state of New Jersey. You should check it out if you’d like to plan a trip with your family.