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Tips For The Traveling Executive: When Mommy Or Daddy Has To Travel
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Tips For The Traveling Executive: When Mommy Or Daddy Has To Travel - Executive Leadership Articles

Tips For The Traveling Executive: When Mommy Or Daddy Has To Travel

Executive Leadership Articles

Tips For The Traveling Executive: When Mommy Or Daddy Has To Travel

Business travel can be stressful enough under ideal circumstances. With everything you need to manage for the trip and all that's beyond your direct control, there is usually too much unpredictability for comfort, no matter how well prepared you are. Add kids to the picture and you're potentially talking about a whole new class of stress. Children of even the most frequent business travelers will experience, from time to time, difficulties related to their parents' being away, but there are steps you can take to keep these to a minimum with as little disruption to their lives as possible.

In a New York Times article, author Laura Kastner says, "When Mom loves her work, Dad is happy to contribute and feels appreciated, and the kids can adapt well to changes in routines, all should go smoothly" (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/17/business/for-mom-business-trips-call-for-emotional-and-digital-logistics.html). Maintaining household routines as much as possible, and treating the business trip as an expected sometimes-component of life as usual will head off stress before it really begins. As with anything involving children, clear expectations with consistent follow-through are your ally, and as in life all over, positive attitudes are the difference-makers.

You can safely predict that unpredictable problems will arise when you're gone, of the sort only you can handle. As your trip approaches, depending on how old your children are, you might check with teachers, coaches, Scout leaders, or other extracurricular activities leaders about upcoming events and expectations your kids may have forgotten to mention. Get those permission slips, activities fees, membership dues, and post-game snacks ready before you go. You might not foresee every possible homework assignment that might need a parent's help, but you can make sure that a few poster boards with construction paper and fresh markers are on hand, or whatever materials are often needed for your child's usual last-minute projects.

Communicating clearly and regularly with your child about the upcoming trip can forestall a lot of anxiety. You know your child well enough to know whether he or she needs one, two, or three weeks to prepare, so when the appropriate time comes, mark the trip on a calendar as a visual aide. An article in Parents magazine suggests keeping notice short (http://www.parents.com/parenting/work/how-to-prepare-kids-when-parents-travel-for-work/) because more time means more anxiety, but work with your own child's tendencies. In an article for Linked.com, Mo Jones Schlick also recommends using maps and photos to show your child where you'll be going, how long you'll be in each place, and what you'll be doing (https://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20140914161325-81797441-mommy-s-in-the-airport-5-work-travel-hacks-for-professionals-with-young-children).

Of course you'll be bringing back souvenirs, and if your children are young enough, something from the airport gift shop might fly, but if they're a little older, try to pick up something they would really look forward to, and it doesn't have to be something expensive. Life in other places can be a fascinating thing for kids, so consider something related to their interests that translates differently, such as soft drinks or snacks unavailable in your area, city-branded mugs from chain restaurants or caf├ęs, or glossy regional magazines from the area. And if you travel a lot, there are always the oldies-but-goodies, such as snow-globes and t-shirts.

Whatever you bring back, remember that the most important thing you bring is you, so upon your return, be prepared to give yourself back to your children first. That long, hot shower and relaxing beverage can wait until after they're in bed, or at least until they've run off to eat all the weird candy you let them find in your carry-on.

 

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Tips For The Traveling Executive: When Mommy Or Daddy Has To Travel - Executive Leadership Articles

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