Effect on child

Shay - posted on 10/23/2008 ( 7 moms have responded )

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Hello! My name is Shay and I'm Mommy to Nathan Josiah born in 2006. My husband Chad travels every other week (Monday-Thursday night) and has so ever since our son was born. I'm wondering how this will affect Nathan? Have any of you recognized good or bad effects of your significant other being gone when your kids were this young? If so, what did you do to help them cope? Thanks!

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My Dad was an Airline Pilot and so is my husband. I was one and am a SHM now. My sisters and I are all very normal..within reason! My mother was way ahead of her time , she can fix a toilet or a car with the best of them and does not rely on a man for taking care of her and I think that is a very important thing to teach esp. girls. Every action that you do is a conversation with your kids that you are able to handle situations by yourself, indepedence. I remember being 8 and one of my friends told me that it was not "normal" that my father traveled, it never occurred to me before that. Maybe I was just a slow kid :) I thought it was normal and unless someone acts like it is a big deal to the child then the child will be fine with it. I do have a friend that is very needy and her husband is gone about every 3 months for two nights and she freaks out and complains to the kids and makes a bid deal about it, now when Dad leaves the kids cry...never would have happened if the Mom did not make a big deal out of it. It would be harder for older children that were used to having Dad around adjust if this was a new situation but if your child is raised this way keep the fuss to a minimum about him being gone. I agree with Janet, my daughter will say "I miss Dad" and I will tell her that I do too. Good luck Moms!

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"Oh, and never, ever vocalizing that you're bummed that Daddy travels like he does. Even if it's the truth. Sure, say "I miss Daddy, too" and get excited that it's only "one more breakfast", but don't say anything negative about the situation"



I think this is great advice! The first couple weeks I was so sad and missed him so much. I would cry (I'm a big baby sometimes) and then my kids would get upset especially my 8yo DD who would cry too and not stop. Now I go to the bathroom when I'm sad about it. We talk about how much we miss him but try to keep it positive and happy.



The good effects are that we are more intentional about planning our family time together. So I think that we have more quality time than we did before he traveled.

Deborah - posted on 10/31/2008

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Hi Shay! I've got a 3.5 year old boy and an 18 month old girl. Here's a few things that have worked for my boy. My little girl's still pretty clueless, but it's only a matter of time...



For a while, we, too, did the whole, "No, I want Mommy to do it" thing. However, showing the teamwork really worked for us. More recently, Joey started wanting only to talk to me and have me talk to his dad. It was kind of weird at first, and then pretty annoying at times, so now our tact is just to laugh and say how silly that is. We tell him that Mommy and Daddy are a team and that we can answer questions for eachother and that we can all talk to everyone in the family. Works pretty well.



Something that helps us pass the week is that we count down how many more breakfasts Daddy will be gone. He thinks this is great and has even uttered a little "Yes" while pulling his little fist toward his side after I tell him "Only one more breakfast."



On nights that Daddy's coming home, when I tuck the kids in, I tell them that Daddy will be home to give them a kiss good night tonight. My 3 year old gets a kick out of me pretending to be Daddy tip toeing in to give him a kiss, telling him "I love you",and then tip toeing out.



And lastly, keep pictures out. A screen saver/ desktop on your computer, family pictures in the living room, maybe even a picture in the kids room that they can hold, carry around, look at, whatever.



Oh, and never, ever vocalizing that you're bummed that Daddy travels like he does. Even if it's the truth. Sure, say "I miss Daddy, too" and get excited that it's only "one more breakfast", but don't say anything negative about the situation.

Jennifer - posted on 10/29/2008

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My Husband is gone Sunday though Thursday too, and it works out for us, we just keep busy, Sunday say bye to dad, Monday we go to gym (he goes to daycare there), Tuesday we visit with ether grandparents or play date, Wednesday swim lessons, then before we know it, dads home Thursday! then from there, dad basically takes over bedtime routine and spending quality time with Ayden while i do laundry and house work. And Saturday it our day out (we go to zoo, mall, mcdonalds for lunch, ect), our son looks forward to weekends, he seems to know when its Thursday because the routine....

Lorie - posted on 10/28/2008

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Hi Shay! My husband has been traveling for almost 5 years & is gone from Mon. in the am till Fri. afternoons. I have a daughter who is 8 and still get hysterical every Sunday night when he says goodbye. I also have a son who is 4 and he is much better but I am not sure if he fully understands. he is still caught up in the "me" factor. I worry about my daughter because she had 3 years with hime home everynight before he started traveling. She has trouble and is always telling me how much she misses him and hates that he misses all her activities during the week. More and more now that she is older.I just do alot of reasuring that her Daddy loves her and has to go to work> His is just by plane instead of car and he need to stayt here because his job is very important so we can live the life that we do. I am not sure if it helps but I try! I hope this helps a little. TTYS!

Shay - posted on 10/26/2008

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Thanks for the great advice! Nathan also will go into the, "No! I want Mommy to do it!" and it's hard on all of us. After a couple of days he falls back into being able to let Daddy do things for him - but it's quite a transition every time. I'm just hoping and praying that someday my husband won't have to travel so much!

Sarah - posted on 10/23/2008

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My oldest child, Elizabeth, is three. For a long time, she was clueless. But at around 2, she began to be very shy and nervous, lacking confidence in new situations (not sure this was a result of not having Dad around to make a strong family foundation for her, or if it was just developmentally normal).

But even more recently, she has started shunning my husband when he is home. If he offers to help her go potty or unbuckle her carseat, she cries and says, "no, I want Mommy to do it." That was hard on my husband. Finally, I asked a friend who has worked with kids, and he suggested saying, "Daddy is part of our family, and we can all do it together." That was very effective. She loved having us together helping her, seeing he and I work as a team and enforcing the concept of family.

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