As a parent, your job is never easy. As a traveling physician with kids and your full-time job as a doctor, your job is twice as hard. Between packing lunches, following bedtime routines, attending practices and games, you may begin to feel burned out. As a traveling physician, it can be difficult at times to keep the family all on the same track while working your way through assignments. But, don’t worry; we’re here for you!
Below, we’ve worked out some great tips and ideas to help keep the kiddos busy and involved while on the road with Dr. Mom or Dad. As long as you keep calm and take a look at all of your options, traveling with your kids can be fun! And, although it can be tough on them in the beginning, they can soon learn to love your career as well.
Being a Traveling Physician with Kids
As a traveling physician with kids, different problems are going to occur during your career and home life that can be difficult to fix. They can range from the simplest of issues like keeping the kids entertained on car rides between assignments, to helping your kids cope through changing schools and a new neighborhood. But luckily, we’ve done some research for you. And below, we’ll teach you how to deal with exactly those two problems.
Entertaining the Kids Between Assignments
Now, first thing’s first- car rides with kids (especially under the age of 12) can be excruciating. When one kid is content, the other probably has an issue. When both kids have an issue, good luck. But, it doesn’t always have to be so rough. If you’re a traveling physician with kids who likes driving to each new assignment, you should definitely have some go-to games, snacks, or fun stops planned. And if you don’t, then let us enlighten you to a world of endless (corny) car ride fun:
While You Were Sleeping: Now, this one is more for the parents out there than the kids. But if your kids are a little older and into it, then there are many tricks to be had. The game begins by waiting until one passenger falls asleep. Five minutes later, the other passengers create an elaborate story to fool the one sleeping. When you think you have your story mastered, wake up sleeping beauty and let the tales begin. If they end up believing the tale, the storyteller wins three points. But, if they don’t believe you or join in the story, they steal all total points.
Catagories: Okay, who doesn’t love categories. This game is so simple and so much fun once you get started. First, pick a letter. Then, pick a category. Next, go round robin style in the car and come up with as many examples as you can. This can be like choosing the letter A and a food category. You all take turns naming foods with the letter A. To make things a little more challenging, try picking a category then finding an example with each letter of the alphabet. For example, the animal category would go something like this: “Aardvark, Beaver, Cat, Dog…”
Plan Fun Trips: If you and the kids get tired of the car games, try stopping for a quick roadside adventure. There are so many cool places to visit during a road trip. Let your kids have the camera and have their own adventure while they can. Take a look at this list of some of the best places to visit while on a long road trip!
License Plate Game – This is a great game to play on long trips. The basic concept of this game is to try and see all 50 state license plates while on the road. You can do it over the course of a trip, months, or a year. Good luck getting Hawaii though! We’re still waiting to see that one this year!
Helping the Kids Adjust
As a traveling physician with kids, you know your job will involve uprooting the family for months at a time, and settling somewhere new. This can be really tough on children. Finding ways to get your kids through the constant change is a must if they’re going to be as happy with your career as you are. Sometimes they’re going to feel left out, or like the constant “new kid on the block.” Try finding them some outlets to express themselves, even if it’s for a short period of time.
Join a Club or Sports Team: Clubs and sports team are great for getting your child involved in the neighborhood and at school. Most sports and clubs are seasonal, which is great for when your assignment is over.
Try Home Schooling: Now, homeschooling is NOT for everyone; but, it could be for you if your children have a hard time making friends due to constant moving. Do some research on what programs are best to for you, and if your spouse is a stay at home parent, make sure they are up for the challenge. There are a lot of legal and proper policies to meet during homeschooling, so make sure to do your own homework first.
Find a Counselor: Sometimes kids just need someone to talk to who isn’t their parents. If you recognize they are having a difficult time adjusting to constant moves and changes, find your children someone to talk to. It can help them have a positive outlook on your career and find a way to cope with their issues.
Uprooting children is never easy, but they are your kids and they love you no matter what. As a traveling physician with kids, you’re bound to face your own struggles, but there’s always methods of working through them. And you know, bringing the kids along may start the travel physician bug in them as well!