I have an almost 5-year-old son and an almost 3-year-old daughter. My children are on holidays with grandparents far away for a week. They had the same holidays last year and it went smoothly, but this year my son cried during and after the travel there (with grandparents). He knows his grandparents well and is always happy to meet them, He sees them up to 8 times/25 days a year, and we also have been there recently. I would say they are comforting - they hug for a soothing.

I did not talk to him since I do not know if I make it worse or not. Grandparents say it was "just sadness" and after "cry out" he is fine. They also suggested it is OK for me to call, and they will probably Skype us today evening. In general my son is not overly attached to us, he can spend a day with relatives/friends just fine. I think he is sad because of being separated from us.

Now I am wondering whether I should call him and talk to him during holidays (we did not last year). On one hand it could brighten his day and encourage him to enjoy the time spend with his grandparents, but on other hand it could sadden him more.

My son is the sensitive type compared to my daughter. Last year, we expected they would rely on each other in such situations. I will probably wait a day to see how is he doing there.

Should I call my son if he remains sad? If yes, what should our conversation look like? I would guess I should talk about what they will do with grandparents.


3 Answers 3


You need to balance "giving your grandparents space and time with him" with "not going too long without talking with him".

I would do a skype video call once in the middle of a week that he was with grandparents.

On other days, call the grandparents directly if you like, and ask them to pass on a "daddy says hi" or "heres a hug from daddy" message to your kids.

It's natural to worry a little - try to relax and, given that you know the grandparents are good people, let them handle things and do a skype call after 3 or 4 days.


This is my personal opinion, for what it's worth.

I see no harm whatsoever in Skyping/Facetimeing with your child if no one objects. Even if he loves his grandparents and they are soothing and patient with him, they are not his mommy and daddy. They are not his "routine". I don't know exactly why he cries (it's likely hard for him to articulate exactly.)

On one hand it could brighten his day and encourage him to enjoy grandparents, but on other hand it could sadden him more.

You're right on both counts. It may make him feel sad, but it might not. On the other hand, it will very likely make him feel happy, loved, and more secure. A few minutes with him close to bedtime every night may make the separation much easier, and he is old enough to feel loved by the gesture.

If time zones (or other) make this prohibitive, you can make a sort video of yourself/yourselves doing something you do at home: singing him a song, saying prayers, or even reading a short book, whatever might make it feel more routine for him.

One of my kids works overnight shifts and often misses the kids' bedtimes, but provides a sweet goodnight video every time. What a lovely memory that will make.


My suggestion would be to worry less. You've probably thought about this for a while and this may be creating you an unnecessary situation of stress. I personally think both options are fine and will not have any relevant consequences (What's the worst thing that could possibly happen?)

On one hand, I see no problem with you calling them. After all, when they get older and go on holiday, you will definitely be calling them more often. I wouldn't make the conversations too long, though. A couple of minutes per day should do the job.

But, from another perspective, I think your kids need to learn how to live without your constant supervision, so having no contact with you for a week is definitely a valuable learning experience.

I would probably go for the first approach, since they will be for a week without you anyway (they won't lose that "learning experience") and a short conversation won't do any harm. He may feel a bit more sad after talking to you, but also probably less worried (after all, who knows what he can possibly be thinking about the reason for your absence)


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