Having family members who live far away can make it hard to connect deeply. While hugs, in person talks, and spending time together may not be possible, you can still find ways to improve your relationship with your loved ones who do not live nearby.
Here are 5 tips for connecting with those you love, no matter the distance!
Schedule and stick to it!
We are so lucky to live in a time that makes connecting “face to face” possible from anywhere in the world. And while FaceTime may not be the same as in person, there is a great difference in experience when compared to phone call or text. Being able to see the expression and face of someone you love makes the call special. For example, as a grandparent you can still witness your grandkids grow up right before your eyes! And they grow up so fast, you don’t want to miss it.
It may be hard to find times that work for family members, especially if time zones are a part of the equation. In this situation, make a schedule and stick to it! Plan out a weekly or monthly time to have a FaceTime. This will make it so your family rime won’t be put on the back burner. It will give you an event to look forward to, and a special time that will create lasting memories. Don’t underestimate the power of a video chat.
Don’t be afraid to share
In the situation of long distance family relationships, the small things can make a difference. Send little texts to check in on your loved ones. It only takes a few seconds to send or read a text, and on a hard day, one text can make all the difference.
Don’t be afraid to keep your loved ones updated! Tell them what you are up to, tell them about the book you last read, or the good lunch you had. These little things can strike fun conversations and make your loved one feel more immersed in your life, resulting in a closer relationship.
Be aware of special dates and special occasions
While you may not be there to celebrate special occasions, remembering them can make a big difference! Be aware of special occasions in your family members life— from birthdays, to anniversaries, or even the first day of school! This shows care and awareness, reminding your family members of your love for them.
As a parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, or any other relative, you do not want to miss out on the big moments. It can feel discouraging to be far and you may feel like you are missing out. But you can do your best to be a part of the big moments.
We cannot forget the exciting experience of getting something in the mail! You can put effort into surprising your family member with a note or small package in the mail. While it takes time and may not be as convenient, it is a fun way to say hello and I love you. Make this activity more fun by finding little things to send in your letters, such as pressed flowers, stickers, bracelets, a stick of gum, and more! You can even play a back and forth game of tic tac toe or dots as you send the letters back and forth. This will be something all parties can look forward to and enjoy participating in.
Shared photo album
Pictures are worth a thousand words. Sending pictures can really help you feel connected to family members. Platforms like google have apps that make this easy and convenient. For example, you can make a shared album on Google Photos or on an apple device, allowing you to share photos of the moments that matter. No caption needed! This is a fun and simple way to keep in touch and updated with the lives of your loved ones.
Being far from family can be hard. You do not want to miss out on the lives of those you love. But with effort and a little creativity, you can feel close and see your loved ones change and grow with time. You can connect, no matter how far apart you may be. Try one of these tips with your family members!
-Written by Hannah Judd