Tips for Staying Connected with Family Members Who Live Far Away
Today, on Redhead Mom, I’m sharing a partnered guest post about tips for staying connected with family members who live far away.
Since the pandemic and political climate have made it more challenging to stay in touch with family members who live far away, I’ve been trying out a few new methods for staying connected. Here are some of my favorite ways to keep up with long-distance loved ones.
Try to Have a Weekly Family Call Time
One of the easiest ways to stay in touch with faraway family members (and friends) is by setting up regular “family call times.” These are times that you all agree on where you’ll be on the phone and able to talk, and then everyone calls at that time. If it’s scheduled, it’ll happen!
If you don’t already have a weekly call time, try suggesting one—but only if it’s convenient for everyone involved. Remember that other people also have lives outside their relationships with your family members. Don’t pressure anyone to set up a weekly call time if they don’t want to; instead, just ask them what days would work best for them when they’re available for calls. Also, make sure that everyone knows how long each call will last (for example, 30 minutes). Then stick to these guidelines as best as possible so everyone can feel comfortable being themselves without worrying about running out of things to say within the allotted time frame or getting cut off mid-sentence!
It may take some practice before this becomes second nature. Still, family calls will become an essential part of keeping your relationships strong even when distance separates you from those who matter most!
Create Videos About Memorable Events and Share Them
Another great way to stay connected with family members who live far away is to create videos about memorable events. One of the best ways to do this is through video messaging apps, such as FaceTime or Skype. Video chatting allows you to share photos, videos, and other content with your loved ones and the audio-only calls that these services offer by default.
While it’s nice to be able to see your family members face-to-face when they live far away, there are a few disadvantages: they may not always have access to the internet and/or a data plan; they might not always have time for video chats, or perhaps you both have busy schedules and can only get together at certain times each day/weekend. These issues can make it difficult for you both if you want an ongoing conversation without having any interruptions from others (like nearby friends).
In such a scenario, you can make a video, edit it to your liking, and send it to your family members. If the family member is residing in a different country and has started a new family, you can also connect with his or her children through videos. However, if the children have adopted the new country’s lifestyle and don’t know your regional language, you can also add captions to your videos. You can add the captions in a language that all the recipients understand. This way, you can always stay in contact with your family.
Send Gift Cards
Suppose you’re a parent who lives far away from your kids. Sending gift cards is a great way to keep in touch. Gift cards can be used for groceries, food delivery, restaurants, etc. You can send them through email, text, or social media so that your recipient can use them immediately. The best part? You don’t have to worry about sizing, color, or style when giving someone something in the mail—you just pick out what you want and send it!
To make sure you get exactly what you want when ordering online:
- Use Amazon Prime Now if possible – this service offers free shipping on thousands of items within 2 hours (in select cities)
- Sign up for ShopRunner – this service gives members free 2-day shipping on eligible items from national retailers like Best Buy, Staples, and PetSmart.
Make a List of Nearby Activities They Might Want to Do
Another great way to stay connected with family members who live far away is to list nearby activities that might interest them. This can include museums and parks, local events, or even tourist destinations. Include links to websites so they can learn more about any given activity and contact numbers for places that might need reservation assistance (like hotels pet-friendly) or special assistance (like wheelchair accessibility). If you have access to a digital map of your city’s attractions and points of interest, include one in the package too!
Finally: don’t forget the local newspaper! Your loved ones may want news and information about current happenings within the community beyond just what’s happening around your house—and there’s no better way than by reading the news every day at breakfast.
Remind Them of Upcoming Holidays or Special Occasions
When you’re living far away, it can be hard to find opportunities for face-to-face visits. Reminding them of upcoming holidays or special occasions can help strengthen your relationship with your family members who live far away.
- Send a card or a gift: If you know someone’s birthday is coming up, send a card or gift in the mail. This doesn’t need to be done every year, but if it’s been a while since you’ve talked with your family member and there’s an important holiday coming up, this is an excellent way to connect!
- Send them letters: You can also send handwritten letters on paper that has been folded into thirds (like these instructions), so they’ll feel like they’re opening something extraordinary when they get it in the mail. It’s also nice because no photos are involved—just penmanship and thoughts on paper!
Ask Them How Often They Would Like to Hear From You and Respect Those Preferences
It’s essential to ask your family members how often they’d like to hear from you. The more options you provide, the better!
If they want to hear from you more often, that’s great! You can go ahead and send them messages as often as they’d like. If they don’t want to hear from you that much, respect their wishes and try not to contact them as often.
So, whether you’re separated by a few hundred miles or a few thousand, distance doesn’t have to impact your relationship with your family members. Use these tips to keep the connection strong and healthy, even from afar.