As a parent, sometimes it's impossible to be there for your kids. Just like when you're in college and at work all day, being separated from them can be tough. But what if one of your kids is thousands of miles away? How do you stay close without constant contact? It might require some effort on your part—and theirs—but fortunately, there are plenty of ways to keep the lines of communication open. Here are five smart tips for families living apart:
1. Communicate often.
The first and most important tip for families living apart is to communicate, communicate and communicate some more. Make sure you're talking about your day-to-day life with your family members regularly. You'll want to update them on what's going on in your home, as well as ask about theirs. This is especially important for children--you don't want them feeling left out or forgotten because they can't see their parents every day like their friends' families can.
2. Keep the lines of communication open.
It's important to keep the lines of communication open. Even if you don't live together, you must stay in touch and maintain family connections.
You can do this by:
- Communicating often, even if it's just to say hi! Use email, text messages, and social media for quick updates on what's happening in your life. If you can access video chat do so regularly, too--it will make everyone feel more connected.
- Use a shared calendar or family communication app (such as Google Calendar) so that everyone can access each other's schedule at all times; this way, there won't be any surprise meetings or events popping up unexpectedly on someone else's schedule without warning them first!
- Scheduling regular phone calls between everyone; this way, everyone gets an opportunity to hear each other's voices regularly without having long conversations every time they speak, which might drain their energy levels unnecessarily.
3. Plan frequent in-person visits.
Traveling to see your family can be expensive, but it's worth it for the quality time you get to spend together. Try planning a family reunion, vacation, or visit for a special occasion such as your child's birthday or anniversary.
4. Take advantage of technology to stay connected.
The best way to stay connected with your family is through technology. Social media, video chat, and other forms of online communication can help you feel like you're still part of their lives even when they're far away.
- Use social media to stay in touch: Social media make it easy for parents and children to share photos and news about their daily lives--even if they live thousands of miles apart. If your kids have cell phones or access to computers at school or friends' houses, encourage them to post photos from their day-to-day activities so that everyone knows what's going on back home!
- Take advantage of video chat: If you have young children who live far away from one another (or even older ones), consider investing in a decent webcam so that everyone has an opportunity to see each other face-to-face every once in a while without having travel costs add up too much money-wise over time."
5. Make time for special occasions and celebrations even when you're apart.
- Create a family calendar to keep track of everyone's schedules and plan events ahead of time. This can help you save money on travel costs, as well as ensure that everyone has the opportunity to attend important events with their loved ones.
- Use technology to make it easier to plan events. Apps such as FaceTime or Skype allow families across the country or globe to connect virtually at any time of day--and now there are even apps that allow parents who have relocated for work purposes but still want their children nearby (such as military families) to live near one another again!
It's possible to stay close to your family when they aren't in the same state, but it takes some work and planning.
- Remember that communication is the most important part of maintaining a close relationship with your family. It's easy to get caught up in daily life, but it's important to make time for phone calls and video chats, even if they feel like a chore sometimes.
- Plan as much as possible so that you don't end up scrambling at the last minute when something comes up (like someone needing help), which will only make everyone stressed out and unhappy about having to deal with an unexpected situation on top of everything else going on in their lives right now.
As you can see, it's possible to stay close to your family when they aren't in the same state. However, it does take some work and planning on your part. Communicating often, planning frequent in-person visits, using technology to stay connected, and making time for special occasions even when apart--are all important things that will help keep your family close.