Stay Close to Your Kids While on the Road with These 5 Tips

Trucking provides opportunities for travel and profit and suits the needs of many individuals. Maybe the lifestyle always met your needs—up to now. As your children grow up, you’re hesitant to spend time away from them, even when it’s for your work.

It’s possible to maintain your relationship, even while on the road. Use these five tips to start.

1. Call or Video Chat Regularly

This tip may seem simple, but it may be the most important one on this list. Even if your child is too young to hold a complete conversation, hearing your voice and seeing your face will make him or her feel more connected to you.

It may pay off to invest in a hands-free phone device so you can make phone calls even when you don’t have time to stop.

2. Make Affectionate Gestures

When you can’t be there in person, even small gestures can help you feel closer to your child. Send postcards from memorable pit stops, care packages with toys and treats, or remote gifts like a delivery of his or her favorite food. Leave notes, surprises, or scavenger hunt–style games for your child to find while you’re away.

Gifts cannot replace in-person contact, conversations, or quality time together. But occasional affectionate gestures make children feel valued and special. They let your child know you were thinking of him or her, even though you couldn’t show it in person.

3. Learn the Details of Your Child’s Life

At a young age, small events mean a lot. Your child’s guardians can tell you his or her grades, sports accomplishments, and current favorite hobby. But you should let your child fill you in on the details he or she finds important, which might differ from the things that seem important to the adults in his or her life.

4. Stay Predictable

Children value stability—it makes them feel safe and comfortable. You can’t always control your schedule, but you should try to keep a routine when interacting with your child. Try to call at the same time or on the same day of the week when you’re away. If you have the choice, opt for routes of similar length so your child can look forward to you coming home after a familiar time period.

If you won’t make an appointment, let your child know as soon as possible. Waiting by the phone for a call that doesn’t come feels much worse than postponing a call until a better time.

5. Come Home When It Counts

Make an effort to return for important events. These include obvious events like Christmas and your child’s birthday, but those shouldn’t be your only priority. Try to come home to attend sports games, recitals, and parent-child events. Pay attention to how your child talks about these events—it can let you know which mean the most to him or her. Even events that seem insignificant to you may mean the world to your child.

 

If you have control of your schedule, think about how it intersects with your child’s life before making decisions. Try to take more home time during the summer and seasonal school breaks so you can have quality time with your child without taking away from his or her education.

Every child responds differently to these actions. If your little one doesn’t seem receptive to your efforts, be patient and stay reliable. Most children understand that their parents love them, even if they feel frustrated with the physical distance between them.

If your child already shows excitement every time you interact, these tips can help you stay close no matter how far away your work takes you.

Wherever your relationship is now, use these tips to improve it over time.

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