How to Help Little Kids Cope When Daddy is Out of Town

My husband is a world traveler.  He works for Operation Christmas Child and often finds himself on the other side of the world.  Like right now, he is in the opposite hemisphere.  In a couple of months he will find himself in Mongolia.  He doesn’t always travel overseas, he often travels domestically and he thankfully doesn’t travel as much as some of the other daddy’s that work at Operation Christmas Child.  But, to us he does travel quite a bit.

When you have small children, it is often difficult to find ways for them to cope with all the traveling.  Today, my 3-year-old whined from the back seat, “Mom, I’m just not having a good day.”  So, I asked, “Why honey?” And, he answered, “Because I miss my daddy!”  At this point we have just completed two days that daddy has been gone and there are three more to go.  It is amazing how it is typical for my kids to get sick more often and just have a more difficult time sleeping while my husband is gone.

Slowly but surely we have learned how to deal with daddy being out of town.  I am not a pro by any means, but he has been in this position for almost a year.  Even though traveling doesn’t seem to get any easier, coping with it sure does.  Here are some of our top ways to learn how to cope.

Do Things That You Wouldn’t Normally Do With Daddy Home – We aren’t trying to take daddy out of the fun picture, but we are trying to help kids see that when daddy is gone things still can be fun.  Today, I took my kids to the $1 store to pick out a little gift.  I don’t normally purchase extra gifts for my kids unless it is a special occasion, but this seemed to be one.

Eat Food That You Don’t Normally Eat – We are health nuts at our home.  We really try to eat as little processed food as possible.  When daddy is gone I will often buy frozen pizza.  Something I rarely buy when daddy is in town.  It makes eating easy, fun and something different.  Or, sometimes we will make a pizza.  Yet, another task that my kids love to do.  You can try other activities like eating out at special restaurants when daddy is gone.

Skype – It is kind of hard to skype with daddy when he is overseas.  Often times he has long days and it is difficult for him to be online when the kids are up.  However, it is always great to skype when he is in town domestically.  The kids love seeing their daddy’s face and don’t seem to miss him so much when they can talk to him “in person” kind of.

Have them Color Days Until Daddy Gets Back- If you have small children you know that kids have very little sense of just how long that daddy is gone.  My son gets up every morning and asks if daddy is home yet.  It helps to get some kind of calendar to check off all the days or color them until daddy gets back.  It will help your children see visually that daddy is coming back soon.   Other ideas can include chain links until daddy gets back too.

Have a Good Attitude – Your attitude will always affect that of your children.  Make sure your spirits are up and it will really help your kiddos!  They know when you are feeling down when your significant other is gone.  Good spirits for you often means good spirits for them too!

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