Your Far Away Child
A Personal Experience
Time flies. Your child has grown up and is pursuing his future. He is young but he knows what he wants and is determined to pursue it. It is not necessarily close by.
The reaction of most parents who have been there for him, throughout the years since he was born and became an adult is a very deep fall in the heart. There are those that will say outright "don't go" or “why so far away?”. Others will halfheartedly say "well if you have to". Then there are those whose insides are burning up, but look at him, into his deep eyes and say "we are with you wherever you go, just look after yourself and be happy."
It takes a lot of love for one’s child to "let him" go to find his way in a distant land. It takes even more courage to show him that you mean it.
He has left and is building a life for himself, an ocean or more away. Missing him becomes a daily feeling. But it's the beginning of a new adventure for him and for you as well.
So, now What?
What Should You Do? How Should you react?
Experience is the best teacher. Nothing can teach us more than what we in person have felt or witnessed. If possible, listen to others who have been down this path and whose relationship with their child has flourished.
It's imperative you remember that your child will always be your child. Your relationships with all your children has nothing to do with distance.
In today’s world we have the possibility of almost immediate communication via a multitude of options. We have in our arsenal quite a few tools.
- Telephones for just old fashioned conversations
- Smart TV
All the above enable us to be in constant communication. Except for the telephone (although even here we have exceptions) the others use the World Wide Web or "www". The web has made the world "smaller".
It's a question of whether you want to be connected. Do you want to make the effort to be stay in touch.
If you don't want to be "too" connected you will not be, even if your child is in the same city, state, continent or abroad. I have met people who see their folks once a year and live in the same country. Distance when talking about communication is irrelevant.
So, it is up to you. Only you. How do you bridge the distance and be a part of your child's life? It actually is quite simple. It will take effort, some of the times a little effort and other times a lot of effort.
The most important and fundamental item in the equation is you. It is your decision as a parent whether to support your child or not. Support is not necessarily financial. It’s good to have the capability of financial support, but this will not keep you close to your child. Sending money is not all about it.
The support that will keep you part of your child's life is being positive for him or her. Make the effort to be there even if it’s miles away. As hard as it will be, and it will be, stand by your child as he goes after his dreams.
The "Honor Game"
Don't wait for him to communicate, to call. Do it yourself. Don't play honor games - "the child should call the parent", stuff. You want a relationship, then call. I have seen parents play this game. They lost. The child lost. People are individuals, different. Some kids will instigate communication often. Others will very rarely pick up the phone "unless they need something". So what? Don't change them. The may mature to be more communicative they may not. Just use all of today's technology and be part of their lives. They want it.
Don't overdo anything. Exaggeration is almost always a burden and will push people away.
Experience has taught that being positive and encouraging for your child pays off. Children, at all ages, and we are all children, want to feel loved with the pillar of their family helping them along. No journey is without obstacles. We as parents, can, by positive thinking and actions, make it easier and more successful for all. Negativity only destroys and pushes one’s child away.
To sum it up being far away from your child doesn't, in our ever growing smaller world entitle you as a parent to ignore your child's aspirations once they have made up their mind to try elsewhere.
Well, you can actually do what you want. We are all adults. But know that there are repercussions for negative actions. Distance can not only bring together if bridged correctly, but cause a rift that could widen with a low possibility of ever closing it.
It's your choice as a parent of what and how the future with your child and eventually his family will look like.