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Friday, March 26, 2010

Temporarily single parenting?

Here are four tips about parenting during an unaccompanied tour:

"We put a nickel or dime (or whatever coins we had on hand) in a glass jar to count the number of days mom was away. The idea is that when mom comes home, she and our son will take the money saved and spend it on doing something together. So, when Carol came back home on her first R&R, she and my son went out for ice cream." (Tip, you might want to dump the coins into a coin counting machine to get bills instead of lugging around a Ziploc bag of coins!)

Another idea is to keep track of the days the parent is gone is by creating a colorful paper chain. The child could write something on each link or just leave them blank. Maybe the chain is displayed in the child's bedroom or the living room for all to see.

Sticking to routines is something on which a lot of parents rely and say that it helped them through the separation. The parent at home will have to create some new routines and make adjustments. Children feel more secure when routines are established. Don't be soooo strict though - the actual times that the routine (brushing teeth, reading a book, etc.) is not as important as the order of the actions.

Finally, remember to take care of yourself. You need to make sure you're getting enough sleep, exercise, eating properly, etc to take care of your child. The whole family can participate in healthy lifestyle activities like taking a walk after dinner or dancing to some fun music.

What tips do you have for parenting during an unaccompanied tour?

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