In this day and age, many of us live in different cities from our friends and families. This is even more true in a city like Toronto, which welcomes people from across Canada and around the world. At this time of year, that distance may be felt even more keenly. Your children’s school friends may have moved away over the summer – or maybe they’re missing a friend they made at the cottage. You may have had the opportunity to get together with your family or friends over the summer, and as you head back home you find yourself missing them more strongly than ever. The good news is that while we may be more mobile than ever, we also have more ways to keep in touch than ever. If you’re feeling the distance, today we have four suggestions for staying connected even when you’re far apart.
Four Tips for Staying Connected
1. Video Chats
Skype, FaceTime, Google Hangouts and the like may just be the best thing since sliced bread when it comes to staying connected. Kids, especially, love to be able to see their loved ones face-to-face. Grandparents also love to be able to see their grandchildren when they’re talking to them. One big bonus to video chats is that as long as you have the bandwidth and technology, they’re free. Just make sure to teach your kids a few basic rules of video chat etiquette, and they’ll be off and running.
2. Send a Letter
In an instant world, a letter is something of a throwback. Even grown-ups have to admit, though, that there’s something very special about receiving a piece of mail from someone you love. There’s an extra personal touch that comes with staying connected by mail. Younger kids can draw pictures to send to friends and family who are far away. Older kids can practice their printing, and learn how to address and stamp a letter. Then, there’s the fun of waiting for the recipient to receive the letter and reciprocate. Yes, you need to pay for a stamp, but it’s worth it.
3. Get a Great Long Distance Plan
The phone is falling out of favour in some quarters, but it’s still one of the best ways to stay connected, especially for older relatives. By getting a great long distance plan you’ll be able to talk as much as you like without having to worry about how much it’s costing you. This will come in especially handy when your seven-year-old launches into a monologue, explaining each and every plot point from Despicable Me 2 to their grandparents in Winnipeg.
4. Get Everyone an Email Address
Once kids are old enough to navigate the computer and do some reading and typing, you can consider getting them their own email address. There’s something about having your own email address that’s very exciting to kids, and grandparents will get a kick out of being able to get in touch with your little ones directly. Some moms go a step further and get email addresses for their babies. They invite friends and family to send messages that will later be saved into a scrapbook chronicling their little one’s development.
What about you – what are your tips for staying connected? Leave a reply and let us know!
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