Little things mean a lot. Here’s a small silly thing I did to stay connected with my son while away on business travel.
Last week, Jason Swann wrote a guest post here with some great advice about staying connected with your kids while traveling for work. (see here for his fun blog)
After describing the rhythms of his household before and during his travel, Jason provided some great advice:
The point is, dads, we are missed. A lot. A WHOLE lot. I read on a post recently that a dad has four girls that make him feel like a member of the Beatles when he gets home. We’re all rock stars to our children, and we can take care of our “fans” by taking a bit of care with how we leave them for our work trips. It will pay dividends in the end to pay attention to how we deal with being gone, as our little ones are dealing with us being gone. So I’ve looked around the web, read, asked, cajoled, and uncovered to find what we can do when we have to be away. The list is organic, so use or don’t, add to or take away.
- Don’t over do it, or under do it on the explanation. They need to know that you’ll be gone, but don’t freak them out about it.
- Leave some notes, in the open and hidden where they’ll find them later. I’ve done this with The Wife and my Wee ones and they LOVE it. (note: when Nick was 4, I went on a 2-week business trip. Before leaving, I bought 14 little toys at the dollar bin at the local toy store and had my wife hide one each day for Nick’s “daddy toy” It went over great!- SB)
- Use the technology you have. Skype, FaceTime, MMS pics, text, and so on. I was at training for two weeks and created a blog, just to upload videos I made for the home team. You can get to the mini bar later.
- Ask for a project to be done when you return. A drawing, craft piece, marble statue, or whatever. They’ll put their all into it, just waiting for you to go nuts over it when you get back.
- For heaven’s sake, don’t forget to bring them something home. We all remember wanting that small token that said we were missed. It can be small and cheap. Just don’t forget it.
Today, I’d like to share with you how I used his advice (items #2 and #3) when I traveled to Baltimore for 3 days last week for a conference (I also bought a funny fridge magnet- item #5)
A few weeks ago, Nick downloaded a fun (and free!) iPad app called Memematic, in which you can turn your pictures into memes by adding captions. Our family has been making silly memes together for the past few weeks. Here’s a sampling of our incredibly silly memes:
So, before I headed out to the “Charm City” for 3 days, I made three memes, and I had my wife show one to Nick each day. It was a big hit! and was the topic for our very happy nightly phone calls. My three memes were:
I know. Really corny and silly.
But it worked. Nick felt my presence during the three days I was away, and knew I was thinking of him. And all it took was 3 minutes the day before I left. That’s all any dad can ask for. Even better than a LOLcat!
What do you do when you travel to stay connected to your kids/families? Let’s share and discuss in the comments section.