Recently I was having a conversation with a friend over skype. He, like me, is living and working in the Arab world. He has a son, who is as old as my younger son, and we were discussing notes on the issues of studies. “At least I am not failing in class and am not at the bottom,” his 12 year son told his father over skype when he was urged to study a bit more diligently
In the global market place, one may not find the right position in one’s field of work in the right place. Where these work factors are met, it may not be good for the educational and cultural development of the child. So, each situation being different, many parents, weighing the different complexities make the choice of visiting their children once in 3-4 months and rest of the time, may be dependent on skype
What can be the possible strategies to develop a bond, from a distanc
Here are some of the activities I felt were useful
Keeping a joint journal
Keeping a joint self-reflective journal in which there will be joint notes on experiences can be a useful device. Reflection on my first day in school, made my sons more focused on what they have to describe. The comparative section of the question –answer part of the journal made them reflect on the similarities and differences between different schools they have been in. One can make them compare libraries or play-grounds, conversations and situations.
Having shared memories
Having a photo-archive in a systematic, year wise manner and going through these regularly makes them form a sense of joint team work
If you grow separately, you grow apart” is an adage which one has to work upon to keep the sense of group.
Having tortoises on my terrace opened a window of opportunity to link in a different way. The boys enjoyed playing with them and even built some interesting stories in a fictional place which had the tortoises as the main persons organizing the show.Man’s best friend, -a puppy- can be a storehouse of many common memories
The school newsletter
Keeping in touch with the school newsletter can give one good insights into the different projects in the school where the child is studying. The environment, art, debating society projects, school sports reports and visits by professionals and prominent personalities provided a link to the goings on in the school, all of which may not be conveyed by the child.
A family newsletter
Having an extended family newsletter project, of the visits and trips with cousins and uncles-aunts can generate a sense of group
Writing about these, and then comparing them, or making picture-video archives and sharing them can be a way to seek alternative opinions within the family and have a sense of greater whole.
– – –
In the global work-place, long distance parenting is a reality. Some people pooh-pooh this idea and tell that the connection cannot be there. However, working on some of the above resources and fronts, one can develop a sense of joint work and bonding.
Do you have any related experiences and would like to share