By: Melissa Cook – My Crazy Life As A Trucker’s Wife
Tips on how to prepare a child for departure:
Imagine you are a four-year-old child. Remember when mom or dad went to the store without you? Remember how it felt when they left for work? As a child I couldn’t WAIT for my mother to return home from work each day. My grandfather owned an automobile shop and would bring me a yoohoo out of the machine every night after work. That was the high light of my evening. Now, imagine you are the same four year old child saying good bye to your mom or dad for weeks at a time. How would that make you feel? I recently asked some of my readers to help me put together a list of tips that will help ease your child into transition easily.
1) Have your trucker leave after all the kids are in bed. Don’t forget to give extra hugs and kisses!
2) Have them help clean the big rig prior to departure and let them hang art work in the bunk and such.
3) Let them help pack up suitcases or help fold laundry. If they think they are helping, it might ease a little off their mind.
4) NEVER say the word “Leaving” to a 3 year old that’s attached to your leg. Simply say “I’m off to work” or “I love you” “See you tonight” which you will because when you stop, you can use video chat to check in.
5) Purchase a calendar and let your child and spouse mark when they will be leaving and coming home so that your child may count the days.
6) Purchase or print out a map and let your child “track the truck” so to speak.
I hope these few tips and tricks work for you. Children are not easily fooled. I know this from experience. I have 4 at home, and 2 grown and on their own. By no means is parenting easy. It’s a daily learning experience that no parent should miss. Please make sure you do everything to keep your trucker a part of their family’s life while they are away. They sacrifice so much for us. Thank you drivers for all you do.