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The military life comes with a lot of separation. There are of course deployments, but there are also TDY/TAD trips, training, and unaccompanied tours. It’s hard enough as an adult to keep in touch, especially when you throw in different time zones and countries, but what about the kids? Do you try to have the kids keep in touch too? We have our phones on us all the time, but we aren’t with our kids all day long. Between work, school, and bedtime, they are bound to miss out on calls. Here’s a few tips to help them keep in touch during a separation.
- Phone Calls
This is the obvious one, but how many times does your servicemember call at a time when the kids aren’t around? They are either at school or in bed already and can’t talk. It can be hard with conflicting schedules, but try to schedule times when the kids can talk. They need to keep that connection as well.
Letter writing is dying form, so what better to reason to write them? For older kids, it’s just good practice. For smaller kids, it’s a good way to work on their reading and writing skills. If need be, they can dictate a short letter to you and then copy what you wrote. It’s good practice and they will love receiving the letters just as much (if you can get the servicemember to write them anyways, I got one letter during my husband’s last deployment).
For the older kids, it’s so easy to keep in touch via email. My 10 year old could easily type up emails to send to family. It’s easy and thanks to our phones, can be done just about anywhere.
- Social Media
Again, for the older kids, but it’s probably the best way to keep in touch with them. Mom or Dad can easily leave them quick messages asking about their day or wishing them luck on a test at school.
- Skype or Facetime
This is one of the best ways to keep in touch. Parents and kids can talk and see each other. Times need to be scheduled, but with the ability to do it on our phones now, it’s a little easier to do anywhere, anytime.
CloudPets™ are a new, one-of-a kind product that helps loved ones keep in touch when apart. Through an app, you can send messages to the stuffed animal and vice versa. There’s a how to video here. My daughter has the unicorn and thinks it’s the best thing ever! There are parental controls, so you can hear any message that is sent before it gets to the kids. It’s pretty awesome. Messages can be sent and received, as long as someone has the app. They at available at WalMart in five different animals. I found them at the front of our store on a pallet display, near the registers. They do take three AA batteries, but those are located close by.
- Care Packages
I love putting together care packages. Have the kids help come up with themes or just pick stuff out to send. They can also include any pictures or artwork they have made. They can even color the box!
What’s your favorite way to keep in touch during military separations?