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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Parenting Tips: Going Away

In just a few days I will be leaving to go visit a daughter in Oregon.  Going cross-country is a bit intimidating when you are leaving children behind, especially if you are a single parent. Although I know that going 5 miles away by car is statistically more dangerous, flying from one coast to the other just feels riskier.  The same was true for my kids so we learned a few tricks for making such separations a bit smoother.

So if you are heading out sometime, here are three of the ideas that worked for us:

1. Leave a note for each to open each day that you are gone. Maybe just a couple stickers inside, or a new pencil, or whatever. The point is something positive to enjoy each day.

2. Leave some little surprise symbols for them to find unexpectedly...[I used to used a bright yellow smiley face sticker or drawing on an index card, and then one day I ran across happy face whatnots!] stick one under their backpack, or in their underwear drawer, or on the inside of the refrigerator door.

3. Plan a specific activity to do with them when you return.... breakfast in bed, a trip to the park, a movie DVD and popcorn, whatever, but something you can remind them of and they can anticipate.

What has worked for your crew???

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