Long Distance (Family) Relationships: Are They Possible?

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Long Distance (Family) Relationships: Are They Possible?

By |2018-06-10T14:18:08+00:00June 11th, 2018|Children, Family, Grandchildren|

When family is scattered across the country, life’s moments can get in the way of staying in touch. We can lose sight of staying connected with family members whom we don’t see on a daily basis. However, distance doesn’t mean the relationship should collect dust on the back of the shelf.

Building a bond across generations may be one task, but when the relationship is mainly virtual, even more barriers are built. Practically speaking, you can’t hop on a plane whenever you’re missing your grandchildren, children, nieces, or nephews. But, don’t let distance define the strength of your family relationships!

Luckily, staying in touch every day in one way or another is completely possible and realistic. We should be persistent and determined to stay connected and maintain a close-knit relationship with family members – even if the relationship is long distance, virtual, and intergenerational!

3 Sneaky Ways to Stay in Touch

With the right mindset and approach, your relationships can be stronger than ever. Facetime and Skype “dates” are a perfect and structured way to remain in touch with relatives, no matter their location or age. Take advantage of the wonders intergenerational relationships provide!

Connecting with loved ones who live out of reach works best in four simple steps: reach out persistently, choose your medium wisely, engage, and make it a habit! While the choice of medium is crucial, it leaves room for flexibility. Push your phone calls or Skype dates past just catching up – get creative with your conversation! Try to incorporate the following innovative ways to stay in touch with family members of all ages.

More Than a Letter: Yes, the good old snail mail. Although more work than an instant Facetime call, handwritten sentiments shoot the level of personalization way up. Think beyond just a simple letter or Hallmark card – send a surprise care package! Include silly chotchkies you have gathered here and there, some candy, and voila! Without a doubt, the package receiver will be pleasantly surprised, and you as well will feel fulfilled about your decision to put a smile on their face.  My favorite (and so easy!) surprise gift to send is called Sugarwish. Sugarwish is an online candy company that allows you to purchase a gift for a lucky someone, where they choose candy of their choice, and then the sweets are delivered right to their doorstep! A super sweet way to brighten someone’s day.

Virtual Book Club: If you are an avid reader, or simply enjoy a good book, suggest starting a new novel with your long distance family member. Reading is a relatable activity for any age. Choose a book that will be interesting for your both you and your family member. Each week, set a specific amount of pages or chapters to read. Agree to dive into new characters, possible plot theories, and questionable moments in the book! The idea of a virtual book club with you and your Skyped-in family member will suffice for filling any awkward silences when the conversation runs dry. Check out this list of young adult novels adults will love – see if any spark your interest!

Get Your Game On: Take your relationship beyond Facetime or Skype – get competitive! Challenge your brain and your opponent right over your smartphone. The app store provides countless games created specifically to be played with an opponent of your choice. Although playing an in-person challenging game of chess would be ideal, a virtual version will have to do sometimes. Popular interactive gaming options to play against your chosen opponent include Words With Friends, Draw Something, and Trivia Crack. Personally, I have used all of three gaming apps to play with my friends who go to college a distance away, my parents, and my younger siblings. Each option works to spark your knowledge, and notifies you when your opponent has completed their turn! Have fun with the competitive nature, as the games also function as a way to keep in touch with an opponent of any age. Here are 66 games to download on your smartphone, and get playing with your family members no matter their location.

Maintaining a long distance relationship with family members of all generations is in no way ideal or easy. Family bonds take effort and maintenance, as all rich relationships do! One visit per year during the holidays doesn’t need to define your relationship! You have the power to truly make the heart grow fonder with distance.

Looking for more creative or fresh ways to interact with your younger family members who live out of reach? Ask A Pup!

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