My kids are going to school with dad this year, looking for suggestions on ways to keep close - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
Old 08-23-2011, 02:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
harrietsmama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Hesperia, MI
Posts: 1,627
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)

First of all, this is a good thing.  They have an opportunity to go to the Detroit Waldorf School which is amazing, and since my son has sensory issues I think it will be especially helpful for him. 

This will be a big change though because now they will be with their dad the whole school year and I will be 4 hours away.

 

I will have them home every other weekend, and I plan to couch surf with friends and go down earlier in the week once a month to see them after school a few days until school is out on Friday.

 

Since Waldorf likes to limit screen time, and I am in agreement with that philosophy, I don't want to rely on email.  Their dad is very protective of his iPhone because he relies on it for his job, but they have no land line and so I want to find other ways to make it pleasant and easy to strengthen our connection. 


Heather, mama to Harriet, Crispin, in with Tom and 2
harrietsmama is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 08-23-2011, 03:27 PM
 
singin'intherain's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 858
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)

Letters are so much fun to get! Plus, I'm sure you'll get a lot of beautiful Waldorfy crayon and watercolor pictures in return!


Mama to: Asterbanana.gif ,          Augustblueman.gif,              Emmett:nut.gif,              Ruthie: kiss.gif
 
 
Step mom to Malakiesuperhero.gif, Cameron af.gif, and Aurelia partytime.gif
singin'intherain is offline  
Old 08-23-2011, 04:49 PM
 
pianojazzgirl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Montreal
Posts: 4,308
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

In that circumstance I wouldn't hesitate to Skype.  It's screen time I know, but considerably different from watching tv, playing video games, etc.  And the benefits of getting to see each other face-to-face (kinda... you know what I mean) would far outweigh any harm, IMO.

 

 


Kate, mom to 7 year old Djuna and 4 yr old Alden. Missing our good friend Hal the cat who died June 2, 2010

pianojazzgirl is offline  
Old 08-23-2011, 04:52 PM
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Cover letter he!!
Posts: 6,387
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Skype is awesome.  Not waldorf, but maintaining a relationship is much more important than no screen time.  My ds skype's with my parents and with his dad, and he loves it (he's 2.5yo) - its so beneficial.

Super~Single~Mama is offline  
Old 08-23-2011, 07:10 PM
 
zebra15's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: State of Confusion
Posts: 4,747
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 22 Post(s)

Can you get your kids a cheap cell phone to call you?  There are some good deals to be had with unlimited minutes or cheap pay as you go type things.

There is also a difference between 'screen time' and communicating with a parent. Skype is great!


Mom to J and never-ending , 0/2014 items decluttered, 0/52 crafts crafts completed  crochetsmilie.gif homeschool.gif  reading.gif  modifiedartist.gif

Seeking zen in 2014.  Working on journaling and finding peace this year.  Spending my free time taking J to swimteam

zebra15 is online now  
Old 08-23-2011, 09:54 PM
 
VocalMinority's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: surrounded by testosterone
Posts: 1,314
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)

My step-son lives with us during the school year and his Mom is across the country.  Their favorite forms of contact are all electronic, so it sounds like those might not work as well in your family.  Nevertheless, I will mention them, in case you'd consider one or two; or modified versions of them.

 

* DSS has his own cell phone.  If your ex has an iPhone, does that mean he has AT&T service?  If so, he can add a second cell phone for an additional $10/month.  Your kids would share whatever minutes your ex buys every month, so unless they spent a LOT of time on the phone with you, your ex would not have to upgrade to a more expensive monthly plan.  A variety of phones are offered free, when you add another line and commit to a 2-year contract.  However, if you're concerned about limiting use of the phone, you might think about a Firefly.  I don't think they make them anymore, so you'd have to buy one on eBay.  (Then just walk into any AT&T store and they'll give you a new Sim-card to link the phone with the second line your ex adds to his plan...)  Parents go online to program #s into the Firefly address book and kids can only take/receive calls from those #s.  There's no keypad on the phone, just buttons for Mom, Dad, 9-1-1 and arrows to scroll through the address book.  They're really awesome!  DSS rarely spends more than 10 minutes on the phone with his Mom, but there's something valuable about hearing each other's voices, even if it's brief.  Plus, kids think it's really neat to have their own phone.  PLUS Dad's iPhone stays safe!

 

* We ALSO pay for unlimited texting.  I think it's $10/month, for all the phones on our AT&T plan.  (You can't text with a Firefly, though.)  Texting may sound like the purview of teenagers, but DSS has loved it since he was pretty little.  Kids figure out how to do it quickly.  This may sound awful, but it's a really nice way to let each other know you're thinking about each other, without the commitment of a phone call.  Sometimes kids will hesitate to make (or take) a call, because they're in the middle of something and don't want to stop.  However, it only takes a few seconds to read or send a text.  Often, kids have trouble during a phone call, remembering what they did/thought/felt in the hours or days before that call, making calls unsatisfying to a parent who misses them terribly and would love to hear details.  Texting gives you tidbits about what your child is doing/thinking/feeling right this minute, since they don't have to stop and focus on a conversation.

 

* Facebook may also sound like it's not for kids, but I think it's WONDERFUL.  You can send private messages to each child OR post things that all of you can comment on (kind of an extended group conversation), plus post photos, videos and links to interesting articles or pictures on the web (sort of like looking through an album - or listening to a story - together).  There are ample privacy settings that parents can control, and your kids don't necessarily have to spend a lot of time on it, keeping up with everyone they know.  Perhaps, for now, FB could be just for you and them.  DSS is definitely more interested in checking FB than he is, checking his email - and much more inclined to be responsive on FB.  I think that's because there's no pressure to compose a long letter - short and sweet is just fine, on FB!  FB is actually my main way of staying in contact with DSS, when he visits his Mom in the summers.  I miss him, but his Mom is pretty hostile toward me, so he feels awkward about talking to me on the phone, when he's around her.

 

* I'm sure others have mentioned Skype.  Unfortunately, DSS's Mom refuses to do that (so I can't give any personal info. about it), but it sounds like an ideal way for kids to keep in touch with an out-of-town parent.  If you're concerned about too much time in front of a screen, only do it once a week.

 

DSS LOVES getting things in the mail.  Cards, but especially any sort of gift - even little, silly things like a souvenir pen or pad of paper from some place his Mom visited.  She used to send him something every week.  I think that would be a terrific habit for you to start.  Just don't get hung up on getting mail in return.  DSS hates to write cards/letters; and he also hates for people to give him a hard time about it, "I'm going to stop communicating with you, if you don't respond to each of my letters..."  If your kids write back, great!  But if they don't, just rest assured they're enjoying receiving what you send; and that it shows them that you think of them.

 

I think photos are also essential.  DSS's Mom sends a photo album, after each of his visits with her.  I'm sure sometimes he feels like he never gets to spend time with her and everything stinks, and those remind him that the two of them do have enough time for some good fun together.  We also send him an album (kind of a yearbook), when he leaves for the summers, to remind him that there's a happy family, and friends, waiting for him back here, when he has to say goodbye to his Mom for another school year.  I've seen him looking through those albums here, so I know they mean something to him.


One woman in a house full of men:  my soul mate:    or... twin sons:(HS seniors) ... step-son:  (a sophomore) ... our little man:   (a first grader) ... and there is another female in the house, after all:  our
VocalMinority is offline  
Old 08-28-2011, 02:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
harrietsmama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Hesperia, MI
Posts: 1,627
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)

Thanks so much for your replies, they really help.  I'm a little computer illiterate and a lot broke, but Skype is something I have thought a lot about. I know I'll need a webcam, but I imagine I can get something inexpensive but adequate these days, does skype cost anything per month? I can go research that I guess, i just feel a little intimidated.  I love the idea of sending cards and drawings, I think it will be good for me to get back into it.  Plus I think with them gone, I am more likely to do more sewing and I can make them some cool stuff.


Heather, mama to Harriet, Crispin, in with Tom and 2
harrietsmama is offline  
Old 08-28-2011, 04:11 PM
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Cover letter he!!
Posts: 6,387
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by harrietsmama View Post

Thanks so much for your replies, they really help.  I'm a little computer illiterate and a lot broke, but Skype is something I have thought a lot about. I know I'll need a webcam, but I imagine I can get something inexpensive but adequate these days, does skype cost anything per month? I can go research that I guess, i just feel a little intimidated.  I love the idea of sending cards and drawings, I think it will be good for me to get back into it.  Plus I think with them gone, I am more likely to do more sewing and I can make them some cool stuff.


Nope!  Its an online message/chat program that is completely free.  The only time it costs a little money is if you use it to call a telephone.  But, if you're video chatting its totally free - my ds does it with my parents and with his dad some (he's starting to skype with his dad more and more as he's gotten old enough, he's only 2.5yo, but he still loves it).

 

Super~Single~Mama is offline  
 
User Tag List

Thread Tools


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off