Long Distance Parents

There are quite a few of us dealing with the long distance mom or dad parenting issue.

Just this week for example.

I have a 15 year old going to her first ball on Saturday and have organised a friend to stand in for me as the dad during the dad and daughter dance. I am going there next month for her 16th birthday and this was decided some time ago. Does not make it any better for either of us though.

My 18 year old has 3 weeks study time off university to prepare for exams. 2nd day in she had done nothing but get stress cramps in her neck.

I set up a system with her yesterday where I will phone her every day to discuss yesterdays study and what her plans are for this days study. (this is a new idea so I have no idea what will happen but have told her I will phone again each day even if she gets angry)

X wife put the boots in again yesterday about has it been worth it being in Taiwan while the children are growing up.

It can’t be easy for you, but I’m sure your kids understand and appreciate the support you can give them. Be strong, fun and light to help her through these three weeks-maybe send her some cool little gift. They’ll be looking forward to seeing you next month. You’ll probably see more of them in the future.

Why don’t you make (to take back) some kind of photo book for them, showing things you do in Taiwan-with comments?. I’ve got a great photo book I could show you as example. Can also include random TW things, observations, fun stuff. :sunglasses:

Ignore the ex-she seems jealous/spiteful. You’re too good a guy. Life has so many turns, we shouldn’t second guess them too much.

Ironman, I think you’re using one of the very best tools to keep attached from a distance.

Chatting, voice chatting and cam chatting are miracles as far as I’m concerned. And they’re all cheap (once the gear is bought).

I also think having your daughter give you a rundown of what she’s been studying and what her study plans are for the next day is a great indication of your relationship with her. Kudos! :notworthy:

Igonore the X wife. Who knows if your closeness with your daughters would have been there if you lived next door.

And the photo album idea is wonderful. :slight_smile:

Digital camera has played a big part the last few years. I do lots of pics in both directions. Sometimes the Aus pics are too sad to put on my desktop or I put them on a shuffle so they are displayed when I walk in the study then they change.

Then its a suprise and memory of the last visit.

Good idea to put captions on, I’ll start doing that.

Good topic, Ironman. This isn’t an issue for me yot… but, in a few years we’ll be sending our boy off to high school back where my folks live in the States.

We’ve been thinking about what it will be like for a while now. Don’t have much to offer yet… but, I appreciate your concerns and I’m glad you started this thread.


Are you on voice over the internet protocol for contacting your kids?

You can call a home phone dirt cheap and reliably. I use firefly, but I think there is one on offer in Taiwan now. That is a must have for communicating overseas.

I am really lucky on the communication front.

One of the factories I check quality control in let me use the phone as long as I want each day I am there. They get the benefit when they show off the white face wandering around without having to pay me so we even out.

I would not mind a camera set up. Does not matter how much I chat I can feel the closeness slowly slip away between visits, then its back up to speed within 24 hours of seeing them.

Hi Ironman: I too have children living with my ex overseas. My problem is that he doesn’t allow internet access, discourages them from calling me (unless he needs money), and interrupts my phonecalls to them.

I have to keep going home to try and sort things out legally. But he doesn’t abide by the rules.

Now my 16 year old wants to move in with me, so I need to go home. I can’t bring her here, as I can’t afford the schooling.

My current bf doesn’t want to go home with me and deal with the stress of my irrational ex-husband all the time. So I have a breakup to deal with, on top of it all.

It sounds like you have a good situation set up with your kids. Keep all the lines of communication open. Even if they seem to drift away at times. Teens have a hard time staying ‘connected’ to their parents. They are so self-absorbed in adolescence. I have to keep telling myself that my daughters know i love them, even though their dad is telling them i am in Taiwan because i don’t care about them.

Kids will figure it out for themselves, eventually. Yours, and mine, will appreciate the effort we’ve made to keep in contact and to stay ‘in the loop’ of what’s happening in their lives.

Hang in there. :astonished:

well, I was left alone since 14, 15 years old (22 now, I was in a boarding school). In the end, I got into MIT, Ivy League school and Stanford, so I guess I turned out all right. I don’t think long distance parenting are really needed once the kid got the drive and ambition (however how does that happen, I don’t know, to me it was just something triggered, somehow). I only talk to my parents once a week, and nothing about academic really, more or less just release stress.

[quote]“You have absolutely no idea how your living overseas and being a completely selfish dickhead effects both ******* and ********”

I got this as part of an email telling me how the dance went. Pretty typical of a bad day for the other parent. This was a polite email. I give her a break because she is coping with a lot and just ignore this type of emotion (within reason)

So how DID the dance go?

So how DID the dance go?[/quote]

Apart from the constant attacks, my x does it pretty well. She organised a hot rod to pick daughter and dance partner up and spent 800 aussie dollars on the whole event with dress, shoes and hair. I was sent 30 pics so can not complain there either. The dad dance went off well.

Well, that’s what’s really important…that your daughter had fun. Your X may be experiencing a painful reminder of your separation during a time that was meant to be pleasant (and then blaming you for her feeling bad).

So, it seems like you’re letting this one go. Best approach imho.