I voluntarily chose to write on the topic of keeping in touch with family from a distance. Then, I had a slight panic attack. “What am I doing?” I thought. I’m horrible at keeping in touch. However, isn’t that how it is sometimes?
God has us write or talk about things that we are growing in, not necessarily things that we’ve perfected (although I don’t know that we can truly say we’ve perfected something).
Let’s jump back to keeping in touch. I value it, I really do. I’m just not very good at remembering to do it. I value it, because people are important. I value it, because I love my family. I value it, because I want my kids to know their grandparents even if they live across the seas.
We’ve lived away from family most of our married life. It’s ranged from a 30-minute car ride to a 20-hour plane ride. It’s important to me that my kids feel like they know family, even if they only see them once or twice a year. Here’s some things we do or have done in the past to keep in touch with family from a distance.
1. Write postcards.
This is my absolute favorite method of keeping in touch with family from a distance! It helps my kids with their writing. It’s short and sweet, and the grandparents get to see something handwritten by their grandkids. Plus, I think writing letters is an art that we need to preserve!
2. Facetime or Skype.
These both offer cheap solutions for phone calls, which is really helpful when you live out of country. Plus, if you have a good Internet connection, you can turn on the video and see each other! My kids and their cousins love that!
3. Make videos to send back and forth.
My kids have done some elaborate videos to send to the grandparents. Sometimes, it’s a tour of every nook and cranny of their room, and sometimes it’s to say thank you for a birthday gift (including showing them every detail of the toy they received). Do you think the grandparents mind elaborate videos? Not one bit!
4. Have your family read a recordable storybook.
A recordable storybook is especially awesome if you have little kids, who love hearing their family members’ read them a story across the miles. A recordable storybook offers children a constant reminder of the sound of their loved one’s voices (and it’s a great solution when mama’s hands are busy and they’re begging me to read them another story).
5. Make a photo album and look at it frequently.
Younger children especially need to see visuals to remember their family. Photo albums are such a great visual tool to keep faces fresh. Talking about family members who live far away and looking at photos of them helps kids feel like they know them. It’s a crucial part of keeping in touch from a distance!
The older my kids get, the more I realize how fast time goes by. We may not have the luxury of being in close proximity to family, but we can sure do our best to keep in touch so that we don’t look back with regret on years lost. It’s worth the time and effort!
6. We pray for family members!
Family prayer time is another great occasion to remember our family! I know some families who keep photos in a prayer box around the dinner table, and then children take turns pulling out the photos of family members and praying for them before the meal. Other families have a bedtime prayer box of photos alongside cards about missions organizations or things in the news that need prayer. If you’re looking for a great free eBook to teach kids about prayer, I recommend Kathryn Slattery’s If I Could Ask God Anything: 20 Questions and Answers about Prayer – available for free here on FaithGateway.com.
A thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night. – Psalm 90:4
In what ways are you keeping in touch with family members who live far away?