Parenting Perspective: Traveling Without Your Kids

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

When my girls were little, I use to travel frequently while working in the Programming Department for Channel 6. We frequently visited movie sets, and television sitcoms while working for our daily morning talk show.

But, I've rarely traveled over the last 4 years. When I went to LA last week for Dancing With The Stars, it was difficult for my kids. And now, I'm getting ready to fly back to LA for the show's finale.

When I searched online, most of the suggestions dealt with paperwork. It's recommended you prepare a will, letters for babysitters including medical records, and a letter authorizing the babysitter to take your child to the doctor. But, I really wanted tips on how to deal with the emotions for the parent and the children specifically when you're traveling for business.

I found some suggestions that helped me written by Kelby Carr for "Family Travel". Carr suggests you prepare by explaining to your children why you have to travel and why they can't come with you. It's important they understand that they are not the reason for your leaving and explain what will happen while you are gone.

Create mementos like photos of you and the kids and perhaps use a soft baby-friendly photo album for toddlers. Carr suggests you use multimedia to leave a recorded bedtime song or story! Create specific times to call so they'll know when they're going to hear from you next and stay upbeat on the phone. If possible, try to schedule some special time before or after the trip.

I think they're great suggestions. I did wake up 4am LA time to call my kids before school and they looked forward to it as part of their normal routine. When you're planning special time with the kids, you may want to keep it simple. I often feel that we spend better quality time when we're sitting in our house coloring or playing cars, rather than racing around to a museum or a movie.

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