Be prepared and you won’t waste another chance to reconnect on your next phone call.
Some kids are just not good at phone calls. Chances are they’re not very good at responding to your questions about their day in person either, but when they’re living at home there’s a good chance you’ll get some conversation at some point.
But what happens with the child who is away at seminary or yeshiva? Sometimes all you get is a call every couple of days with single syllable answers to your questions. And then you hang up with an uncomfortable feeling on both ends of the call.
How can you change that? How can you get enough of a conversation going that the child feels connected to family back home?
A friend gave me this bit of advice last year and it made so much sense to me. She told me when she sent her son out of town as a 9th grader, she struggled to connect on the phone. Until she started keeping talking points. Throughout her day, whenever something struck her as worth sharing with her child, she jotted it down on a notepad. It could be a funny thing a younger sibling said, the announcement of a neighbor’s engagement, or a warning for a storm on the way. Nothing is too mundane if it will interest the child in the slightest. The goal is simply to engage and get him/her to talk.
It’s a hard thing to send a child away. We need to find any way possible to make it easier and a better experience for the child and the parent. And I’d love to hear some of your advice. Please share in the comments below!