I’ve been away from home for a few days, involved with a conference in Las Vegas. The glitz, the noise, the lights, the cigarette smoke, the sea of femme fatales, the usual Vegas scene. It’s easy to immerse yourself in the Vegas experience and forget about what’s going on at home, except for the fact that a surprising number of conversations eventually became discussions about our children.
No more do we pull out our wallet and share photos, however, now it’s all digital, and smart phones make it a breeze to have the very best of your children’s photographs tucked neatly into your pocket. I’m the same, a proud Dad happy to share pics of my kids. In fact, I don’t have many with all three in the photo, so I often share a funny picture I have from when we were at Venice Beach, California, and they were all trying on glamor sunglasses. Still makes me laugh!
What I was surprised about on this trip was the commonality of my experience avoiding video calls and even sometimes checking in at all — especially around bedtime — to avoid the kids getting upset and realizing how much they miss the traveling parent.
Sure, my kids text message me, and I was having fun sharing photos from Vegas with my teen, A-, who is an avid photographer and is eager to experience Vegas for herself so we can go to some Cirque du Soleil shows, but we actually didn’t ever talk on the phone (that’s so retro anyway!) and we certainly didn’t go for a FaceTime chat, even though she and I both have iPhones.
Which makes me wonder: how many parents actually are using FaceTime or Skype Video or even a Google Hangout to chat with their children when they’re on the road or otherwise away from home? I bet it’s vanishingly small, and even those parents with the best of intentions quickly realize that it’s not worth having the little one burst into tears and wail about “I miss you, Daddy!” when things were going so smoothly just before…
So what’s the scoop, parents? Do you use any sort of video tech to stay in touch with the kids? And how’s it go for you?