How to Cope when Your Child Is Away

Three Methods:Preparing For the SeparationCoping with the SeparationKeeping in Touch

Whether you need to be away for your job or your child is going somewhere for a number of days, weeks or even months, it inevitable that you will feel sad and anxious for a while. However, it's important to find ways of coping with your child being away. You can do this by staying in close contact with your child and by focusing on yourself and your own needs.

Method 1
Preparing For the Separation

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    Stay positive. While it is important to recognize how anxious you feel about being separated from your child, you cannot let this anxiety take over your life. Instead try to think of the potential advantages of your child being away and how you can make the most of this time. For example:
    • You can take some time for yourself where you are able to do activities you enjoy and accomplish things without interruptions.
    • You can build a stronger relationship with your child. If you can successfully stay in touch with your child despite the distance, you may find that your relationship comes out stronger on the other side.
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    • You can both get really good at planning and think of some unique and creative ways of staying in touch.
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    Consider the benefits for your child. Distance can force you to develop greater trust in your child, make your child more trustworthy, and allow your child to learn how to trust other people aside from you.
    • While he's away, your child may have the opportunity to explore and learn new things. This is a good thing, especially if your child tends to be a little shy.
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    • He can learn how to be more responsible, even with things as simple as doing his homework by himself.
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    • He can also become more independent and learn how to make simple decisions on his own.
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Method 2
Coping with the Separation

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    Put your feelings in writing. Most people tend to feel better after writing about how they feel, as writing can help you to identify some of the negative emotions you might be experiencing and help you work through them.
    • You can de-stress by keeping a diary where you recall happy memories of being with your child or describe your feelings of anxiety or sadness at being separated from him.
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    • Acknowledging your feelings may provide you with sense of calmness and acceptance.
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    • Alternatively, you can also try expressing yourself through other creative means such as drawing and painting, as these tend to improve your mood.
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    Focus on the positives. The first thing you have to remember is that you need to feel good about yourself. You don’t want your child to see you neglecting yourself just because you are away from him.
    • If you've had a hard day and you're missing your child, mentally unwind by just sitting with your eyes closed and focusing on your breath for about 20 minutes. Make an effort to let go of any negative thoughts.
    • Count your blessings and know that everything happens for a reason.
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    Stay healthy and active. Keep yourself healthy while your child is away by eating more fruits and vegetables such as watermelon, cantaloupe, strawberry cucumber, broccoli, tomato, pumpkin, etc.
    • Do exercises like jogging, walking, dancing, biking to reduce stress and help you sleep better.You may also find it more enjoyable to listen to music while exercising.
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    • Groom and dress to impress. Make sure you are taking care of yourself by paying attention to personal hygiene and ensuring that you are well dressed. Being well-dressed will help you to feel more confident in social situations.
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    • Get enough sleep. Not only because it is healthy, but also because it boosts your immune system and protects you from common sickness, like colds.
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    • Keep your workplace clean and organized. This will help you to be more focused and productive and prevent distractions while at work.
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    Reward yourself. Give yourself a break and allow yourself the pleasure of shopping for the things that you want once in a while. This can be a special gift for yourself or something as simple as a bar of chocolate. Other ways of rewarding yourself include:
    • Grab your favorite book and cuddle up with a warm cup of green tea, which is both healthy and comforting.
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    • Take a bubble bath and light some relaxing scented candles. Don't forget to apply a luxurious body butter to moisturize your skin after the bath.
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    Find a new hobby. One thing that will help you to distract yourself from thinking of your child is to keep yourself busy. Get the most out of life by discovering a new hobby that you will love.
    • You could try outdoor adventures like traveling, or exploring something unique about a certain place. Consider writing a travel blog about it.
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    • If you are looking for budget-friendly hobbies, try indoor activities like learning to play a musical instrument or doing some crafts, like scrapbooking, etc.
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    Stay strong. If your child sees how sad you are at his absence, this will simply make him feel sad too, or even guilty for being away. Make things easier and better for him by putting on a brave face and letting him draw his strength from you.
    • Look for support from others. It helps a lot when you share how you feel with someone else, whether it's family, friends, or other parents. The most important thing is that someone listens to you.
    • You should also consider joining support groups online if you are hesitant to share your feelings with someone you know.
    • Connecting with other parents who are separated from your children will help you to feel less alone.

Method 3
Keeping in Touch

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    Close the distance between you with technology. Technology is the key to communication in any long distance relationship, given that it is the most convenient way of staying in touch.
    • You can use different social media apps like Facebook and Viber to send animated messages to your child and let him know that you are thinking about him.
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    • You can also take advantage of Skype, which allows you to see your child as well as speak to him. You could consider eating meals together over Skype - it's the next best thing to actually eating together.
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    Tailor your contact to your child's age. Older kids may not think it's "cool" to talk to their parents everyday, so you might want to avoid constantly checking in. Younger children, on the other hand, will probably appreciate daily phone calls.
    • Ask your child about how his day was and update him about yours as well, so you both feel the connection and know what's going on in each others lives, even though you are far away from each other.
    • Do not expect your child to contact you by themselves. Children can be scatter-brained and easily distracted by their immediate surroundings.
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    Send things by mail. Nothing beats a handwritten letter. It is more special and personal than a text or email. Your child may feel you are closer to him when he sees your handwriting, since it is more tangible than words on a screen.
    • Send some care packages. These might include some clothes, toys, activity books, or things that you can buy from a dollar store. They don't need to be expensive.
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    Show your care and love even when you’re miles apart. Distance should never be an excuse not to let your child know how he is important to you as often as possible. Be there for your child and support him no matter what.
    • For a younger child, asking him how he is doing in school and if you could give him any help with his homework is a great way to start. However, for a teenage child, you may ask him what's going on his life and if there's anything he needs.
    • Remind your child that you are interested and want to be involved in everything he is doing even if you’re far away from him.
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    Have some things in common. Try reading the same book or playing the same online game and plan to talk about it afterwards. This will lead your child to look forward to your next conversation.
    • Make sure that you also buy the book that your teenage child is currently reading, for yourself. Then the next time you talk to your child, he will absolutely be thrilled to find out that his own parent has read and enjoyed the same story as him.
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    Plan a surprise for your child. Experiment with sending your child small things like candies, chocolates, school supplies with his favorite cartoon character, mini action figures, etc. for younger child.
    • Even teenagers will love receiving some gifts. You can try sending some video games, books, baseball caps of his favorite sports teams, etc..
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    • Remember that little surprises go a long way, so use your imagination when it comes to surprising your child.
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    Treasure the time you do spend together. Every day that passes means you are another day closer to seeing each other again. When you do see each other, make sure that you make the most of it.
    • Enjoy every moment. Go out to your favorite places and make new memories. Ask him what he wants to do, as this shows him that you value his opinions and ideas.
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    • Take lots of photos. Photos are great way to keep memories and feelings alive. You don’t want to let another special memory with your child be forgotten.
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    Make a scrapbook of your time together. Keep a scrapbook to organize your photos as this will help you document every fun moment you had with your child.
    • Then, whenever you long for your child while he is away, you can always go back and look at the photos you took with him. This may help you not to miss him as much.
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    • You can also record some short video clips to add to your collection, then burn them onto a disc.
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Tips

  • Remember the love you have for each other. Love is the main reason why despite the difficulty of being apart, you never give up.

Article Info

Categories: Parenting