I recently had the opportunity to read Moms over Miles
and Dads at a Distance – both are magazine-length handbooks full of activities for long distance parents to do with/for their kids to strengthen their relationships with their kids.
Being a distance parent, I’ve struggled with finding ways to make sure that my son always knows his mom is thinking of him and loves him… to remain a constant part of his life. But still, I have to admit, I was a little skeptical of a book that would simply list ideas. Anyone can think of ideas right? We even have a list of ideas for long distance parents to build togetherness with their kids, here on the site.
But still, as simple as that might sound, logistics make things difficult. Additionally, when you are a long distance parent, comparing your parenting to the parenting of non-long distance parents, your efforts to stay connected can seem paltry and so many might not see the point of the small gestures. The reality is that all of those small gestures are what build a strong relationship. Even in-person relationships! This is sucha big issue facing long distance parents that, despite it being a seemingly simple thing to think of ideas, one of the most common questions I get from other long distance parents is “how do I stay connected?” – or even “what are some ideas for things I can do with my kids long distance?”.
Having scanned through some of the reviews on amazon, it seems important to address first, what these books are NOT : They are NOT a guidebook for being a long distance parent. They are not complicated, long reads. In fact, they are not really meant to be ‘read’ so much as scanned. They don’t delve into the psychology of a child or a long distance parent. A non-long distance parent will probably not see the value in them because they seem super simplistic, when the difficulty of building and maintainging that relationship is not a familiar struggle. But. They are not meant to be those things, and in it’s simplicity, becomes a great, quick, go-to source for long distance parents to brainstorm another idea. And for that, These books are amazing!
Each book has 330 distinct ideas divided into several chapters including ‘Long Distance Fun’, ‘Holidays’, ‘Internet Activities’ and quite a few more. The ideas range from simple things like ways to send letters to more complex ideas like sending a care package with chicken noodle soup, a good book and a favorite cd for use only when your child is sick. The ideas are quality, well thought out ideas, some of which, I never would have thought of in a million years, so it definitely hit the spot for brainstorming aid. Some of the ideas have a cost attached but many don’t, making them feasible even on a budget.
As a mom, I got just as much out of Dads at a Distance as I did Moms Over Miles. There was very little duplication between books giving me well over 600 excellent ideas.
At the end of flipping thru these books, I had an amazing renewal of energy to try some new projects with my son… and most of all, a boost of hope. Being away from your children isn’t easy and these books were packed full of ideas to make it just a little less difficult.
I recommend both of these books as a staple for any parent expecting to be away from their children for any length of time.