Tuesday, April 4, 2006
Parent to Parent: Travel Parents
Being both a parent and a professional is a delicate balance. But when you throw travelling in the mix, it can be tough to stay connected to your kids. In tonight's Parent to Parent, Dr. Debbie shows us it is possible to attend to your children - even when you're on the road.
WSVN--Paris, Greece, Hawaii...
These may seem like great getaways, but for Karen Prange, it's all in a day's work.
Even though Karen and her husband Eric have different jobs, they both must travel for business.
Karen Prange: "We sit down at the beginning of every month. Me with my blackberry and him you know with his palm pilot and we talk about who's going to be traveling when."
But when they are out of town, mom and dad make sure to stay connected to their son and daughter.
Dr. Debbie Glasser: "You want to find ways to be in touch with your children even during your absence. For example, phone calls or with older kids, e-mails or sending faxes to where their parents are."
Seven parenting expert, Dr. Debbie, says the key is communication.
When you're home, spend as much time together as possible.
When you have to travel, make sure you tell your children where you're going and how many days you'll be away.
Dr. Debbie: "Some parents think that they can just pack it up and go and maybe if they don't make too big a deal of it their kids might not be upset, but in fact that can be unsettling to many kids."
Then while you're gone, keep your kids on a consistent routine.
If you can't attend an after-school activity, try to have another family member there.
But above all else, take time to listen to their feeliings... Even if it's over the phone.
Karen Prange: "My kids know that if they call me on my cell phone that I'll make every attempt that I can to step away and I do do that."
Karen's fortunate to have her husband.
He works from home a couple of days a week plus he's a master chef in the kitchen.
This way, when she's not working, she can work on being the best mother possible.
karen Prange: I think that I'm a better parent because I have a career and my 14-year-old doesn't remember if I missed her first word, what she remembers is I've got a mom who's a great role model for me."
And both kids wouldn't have it any other way.
Hannah Prange: "I'm very proud of my parents."
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