Working as a professional truck driver does present issues when trying to maintain a strong relationship with a child. Teenagers need a positive presence in their lives, especially during the teen years, as these years can be a troubling period in their lives. Despite the restrictions of driving a big rig, staying connected with your teenager is possible with a bit of ingenuity.
Make an Effort to Connect When at Home
Maintaining a strong relationship with a child starts at home, where a conscious decision must be made to be a present parent. Lend your ear to your teenager when you are home. Ask him or her what is going on in their life. Engage him/her in any potential shared interests, like video games or sports. Make it clear to your child that, despite your work, you want to be a part of their life.
Keeping in Contact on the Road
If you do not currently own a smartphone, here is good motivation to purchase one. According to a recent study, 73% of teenagers use social networks to keep in touch with friends and family. Using a smartphone with a Facebook or Twitter application enables you to read regular updates from your child when you do not have time to call or write an email.
When phone calls are not possible, texting is another way to connect with your teenager when you are far away from home. Sending messages back and forth on a stopover is an easy way of letting your child know that you are thinking about them. If your teenager is like most teenagers, they’re quite comfortable texting.
Another benefit of owning a smartphone: taking pictures of things encountered along the road. Did you encounter a funny sign that you would like to share with your son or daughter? Take a picture of it! Your child, or your spouse, will appreciate the laugh.
Creative Ways of Maintaining a Connection
If you have a laptop, taking the time when possible to talk over webcam is one way of retaining a physical and emotional connection with your teenager and the rest of your family. Furthermore, sending home postcards from various stops on a leg is one sentimental way of telling your family, “I am thinking of you.” This is a great way to start a collection.
Think of things that your child enjoys. Do you occasionally encounter something inexpensive that makes you think of your teenager during a stopover? You do not necessarily have to buy the object, but letting your child know that you saw something that made you think of them is enough to let them know that they are on your mind despite the distance.
Being away from your son or daughter for many weeks does make it difficult to be an involved parent. However, utilizing some of these tips may help you retain a connection with your child. Take advantage of technology, along with a few old-fashioned resources, to be an active, connected parent despite a busy schedule.