It’s a feeling many adults and children know well: post-holiday let-down. From removing the festive holiday decorations to facing months of winter, life after the holidays can make anyone blue. Having to say goodbye to beloved family members only makes the adjustment more difficult. Whether it’s a child parting with grandparents or cousins bidding farewell, separating after the holidays is never easy.
Still, there are ways for kids and adults alike to maintain connections after the holiday parties are complete. From high-tech to no-tech, read on for bonding ideas you can implement now and keep going throughout the new year.
Share Texts Throughout the Week
Texting family members who live far away helps maintain a strong connection. Depending on the age of the child, it may be a great way for kids to connect with grandparents. If a child is old enough for their own device, there are phones for kids like these from GabbWireless.com with safety restrictions for parental peace of mind. These phones allow kids to stay in constant communication with family, minus the dangers of a typical smartphone.
Texting is ideal for long-distance communication because it is instant and ongoing. It allows kids to share a quick thought with Grandma or Grandpa, who can then instantly respond. Texting also allows kids to share one-on-one time with loved ones just as they would in person. With the variety of emoticons available, sometimes one silly icon is all you need to express yourself.
Have a Video Call
Sharing a video call with long-distance family members is an easy way to stay connected. While a simple audio call is great, being able to look into the eyes of your family members can make all the difference. In addition to sharing a story or a laugh, video calls open up possibilities when it comes to bonding. Kids can share artwork, play a musical instrument, or give Grandma and Grandpa a tour of their newly decorated bedroom.
Family members can get even more creative and share a regular game night or watch a movie during the call. Before long, you may even forget you are not in the same room. Sharing these kinds of experiences via video calls is sure to strengthen the bond with loved ones, near and far.
Send Photos to Digital Frames
It’s amazing how quickly kids grow and change. When family members aren’t physically together each day, it’s easy to miss a lot. Sending photos to Grandma and Grandpa’s digital frame is a great way to combat that. Whereas it’s easy to let weeks go by without a single shared image, uploading photos to a digital frame can quickly become a habit.
Sending photos to a frame is often as easy as uploading new pictures to an app. The photos will then appear on your loved one’s digital frame. No doubt each new photo will serve as a welcome surprise. It will also allow you to experience new milestones together.
Plan a Spring or Summer Visit
Nothing beats being able to see a loved one in person. For this reason, it’s a great idea for kids to visit Grandma and Grandpa during spring break or summer vacation. In-person visits allow everyone to get some time together halfway through the year. If family members live in a beach town or other vacation spot, it can make the trip even more fun. Regardless of the location, traveling somewhere new allows us to gain greater empathy and understanding.
An alternative to traveling to see Grandma and Grandpa is taking a trip together. A joint vacation allows everyone to share the expense of a hotel or rental while going on adventures. It also provides Mom and Dad with a little childcare so they can take time out for themselves.
Communicate Via Social Networking Sites
For older children, social networking sites can be a great way to stay in touch with relatives. From sharing photos to participating in family groups, these social sites allow instant and ongoing communication. While they are not a good option for younger children, they can be ideal for those who are older and more mature.
For greater privacy, family members can create a family group consisting of a few select members. This allows each member to share photos and posts that only those in the group can see. It can be a great option for a few people as well as a larger group.
Send Care Packages and Letters in the Mail
Sometimes logging off is an excellent way to stay in touch. Being able to see the handwriting of your loved one or hold a gift from them in your hands goes a long way. Sending items through the mail is an excellent way to bridge the gap between long-distance relatives.
There is no doubt that a low-tech connection offers its own rewards. Whether it’s a special birthday gift or a handwritten note, sending mail to family offers a new kind of connection. When it comes to deciding what to send, the options are vast. Grandparents could send a favorite baked good to their grandchildren, or grandkids could share a special work of art. All you need is postage and an idea!
From sharing a video call to sending regular texts throughout the week, maintaining bonds with long-distance loved ones is possible. With a little planning and forethought, kids can grow closer to Grandma and Grandpa even when they live far away.
Instead of focusing on the distance, it helps to see it as an opportunity to carve out new forms of connection. When the holiday parties wind down, don’t be sad. Instead, be thankful for the variety of ways we can stay in touch with loved ones, no matter how far away they may reside.