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Across the Miles: Long Distance Teen Parenting

There may be nothing more difficult for a parent than being separated from their child.  These types of separations are especially difficult during the teen years when kids so need their parent's advice and guidance.  Hopefully the tips below will help you connect with your teen even when they are far away.

  • Keep in touch with your teen by phone.  Make sure you both have cell phones with unlimited minutes and encourage her to call you any time.  When the phone rings and you see it's from her, do your best to drop whatever you are doing and take that call.  Even if she only wants to ask for an advance on her allowance or tell you about a movie she just saw, keep the lines of communication open.
  • Visit your teen as often as you can.  Scrimp on other spending to save money to go to where she is as often as possible.   While having your teen come visit you is also important, adjusting your life to fit into hers shows that you are committed to the relationship.
  • Use technology to "be there" even when you can't.  Arrange for someone to film important events like recitals or playoffs and feed the event straight to your computer.  Even if you have to get up early or go to bed late because of the time difference, it is still so worth it to see her score that big goal and to talk to her while she is still excited about her success.
Maintain a good relationship with your teen's primary caregiver.  Make sure that they understands that you want to be a part of all decision making, both big and little.  Do whatever it takes to stay involved with as many aspects of your teen's life as possible.

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