Children thrive in a stable home environment. Notwithstanding the foregoing, parents oftentimes find themselves in more of a long-distance relationship than with an actual in-home presence of one spouse. This is due, in part, to the globalization of the workforce that requires extensive travel and also stints at far-away locales.
Another reason for long-distance relationships is enlistment in the armed forces. This makes spouses oftentimes wonder about the best ways of surviving a long-distance relationship that protects the integrity of the family unit.
Wait, a community made up of participants in long-distance relationships, outlines that approximately 2.9 percent of marriages are considered to be long-distance relationships. One in 10 marriages features prolonged periods during which they would have fallen under the heading of being long-distance. For the year 2005, this translated into 3,500,000 Americans involved in a long-distance marriage relationship.
Saying good-bye time and again is not only hard on the spouses but also the children. Surviving a long-distance relationship is especially tough on youngsters, who do not feel the empowerment to maintain the child-parent relationship. While the spouses may engage in emailing one another frequently, chatting online or calling whenever the urge hits, the child bears the separation alone.
That being said, there are some steps insightful parents may take to help children survive a long-distance relationship and still maintain some closeness with the missing parent:
• As soon as it is age appropriate, the child should receive a basic cell phone with text message capabilities. This presents an opportunity to share thoughts and feelings as they occur, even if they do not receive an immediate response from the absent parent.
• If age-appropriate, a child should receive a (heavily privacy-protected) Facebook page that s/he can use to interact with the missing parent. Both can post pictures, thoughts, little messages and also capitalize on the instant message feature. This is a great before-bedtime activity.
• The absent parent and the child may participate in (age appropriate) online MMORPGs together. Gaming online together is a great way of building closeness while also having fun.
Of course, the best scenario possible if for the child to not have the need for learning how to survive a long-distance relationship with a parent in the first place. Whenever possible, parents must strive to keep the family unit in place and perhaps forgo promotions or job offers that require extensive travel.