Ladies and gentlemen, this is not your captain speaking. But I do have a brief message for you: I want you to remember that business travel can be a positive element of your family life.
So, before you depart this aircraft, please make note of four things:
1. Prior to Takeoff
Tell your children where you're going. Give them a short geography lesson. Pull out a map and show them your destination. Let your kids and your spouse know that you'll be thinking of them. Leave behind a note of encouragement for their lunchbox. Leave a little gift or love letter behind for your spouse.
2. While You're Away
Make every effort to stay in touch. Call your children in the morning before school. Ask them about their classes. Find out what activities or sporting events they have for the day. Then, e-mail them in the evening to touch base. Be sure to call your spouse just to say, "I love you."
3. Return Rewards
Bring something back for your kids. And, guess what? It doesn't have to cost you a dime. Pick up a historical trinket or a piece of nature -- an unusual looking rock, sand from the beach or an autumn leaf.
4. Landing Gear
If you don't have a smooth "landing" when you walk in your front door, it won't matter how well you did staying in touch from the road. So realize that you and your spouse have different expectations about your arrival. You're looking for relaxation. Your spouse is looking for reinforcements. You can have both if you give the reinforcement first. When you walk in, ignore the mail and phone messages. Instead, immediately ask your spouse what you can do. Then do it. Once things are under control, you can get your R & R.
Thanks for your attention. I hope these tips will be rewarding to you and your family wherever your travels may take you.
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