Traveling Dads: Ideas to help keep in touch with your kids

Do you remember the old Cingular commercial where the dad took a stuffed animal on the road and took pictures of the animal in each place he visited?  I found it on Youtube for those who do not remember. 

My daughter saw the commercial and would strategically hide the animal somewhere in my stuff! As I would take pictures, I emailed or texted the picture back to my wife and daughters to see where I was and what I was doing.

I was asked an awesome question this week and wanted to respond with on my blog as well as a personal message.  “I am away from my daughters this week for business and am really missing them. Do you have any clever ideas on how to connect?” was the question posed. I traveled quite a bit last year and have some ideas that I found to be very effective. 

I do realize that several of these options need to be initiated before leaving for a trip but some are doable even while on the road. 

I pray with my daughters every night before they go to bed, so when I travel, this is sometimes a challenge.  I know  many dads who love to tell their children, especially those of us who have daughters, good night before they go to bed.  I have several solutions for this issue.

  1. Call them on your mobile phone no matter what you are doing! If you need to excuse yourself from the meeting, then do so, to talk to them before bed.
  2. Before you leave, make a video for each night you are gone. It does not need to be longer than 30 to 90 seconds. In this age of easy video on phones and every digital camera available, make a short video for each child.  This does take some time, but I have found is well worth the effort!

Staying in contact during the day can be a challenge but here are a couple of ideas.

  1. If your children are old enough to have mobile phones then texting is one option.    
  2. A really cool connection point is using video on your phone to send them a recorded message via sms (text messaging).  I can record a short video on my phone and send it to my wife’s phone, which she and my daughters can watch. She in return can make a video response with the girls for me!

Another great option is to use Skype or Oovoo to stay in touch.  They are even better if you have video capabilities on your laptop and computer at home. This past December I spent a week in Romania and could  speak to my wife and daughters via Skype. Skype is even available on your mobile phone through an android and iphone app.  

As a final note, I want to encourage the dads to really think ahead about staying connected.   Traveling can be a break from the day to day stress but it also is a time for temptation.  I know when I stay connected, my mind stays at home when my body is on the road!  

I would love to hear from anyone who has more ideas about staying connected while on the road.


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Tuesday, March 1st, 2011 Teaching No Comments