Words of Wisdom: Dealing with Distance
There are many reasons why certain a family may end up living far away from each other-emigration, a great job opportunity, financial reasons – you name it!
Unfortunately, this means that many of us spend time away from our parents and grandparents.
Personally speaking, since my family immigrated to the United States, I’ve been living apart from my grandparents since the day I was born.
Regardless of the distance between us, my family and I try to find ways to keep them up to date on everything going on in our lives, so much so that we tend to call them on the same day each week. I always laugh when I call my grandmother Maria and she goes, “Oh, I just got off the phone with your mom!”
We try to get as creative as possible, as well, so here are some tips on how to deal with the distance in your family.
- Introduce your loved one to the World Wide Web
My two grandmas are very opposite when it comes to technology. Let’s just say that one of them refuses to buy a computer, let alone use her cell phone over her home phone, and the other Skypes us regularly. Consider buying an iPad or small laptop with a webcam for your parents or grandparents the next time they celebrate their birthday. The next time you plan to visit them, take the time teach them the basics and maybe ask their caregiver to go over how to access Skype and games on their computer when you leave. Depending on how eager they are about learning new things, you might even suggest that they make an email or Facebook so you can share family photos with them. Maybe one day you’ll get a friend request from Grandpa
- There’s more to photos than posting them on Facebook
I’m going to play devil’s advocate now and talk about what’s bad about Facebook. Nowadays, it seems like everyone and their mother’s lives are plastered all over the internet. There is hardly anything personal that we choose to keep to ourselves.
So the next time you decide to make a Facebook album with photos from your family trip, order some prints for yourself to make into an album to send to your loved one.
Online photo services offered by Walmart give you so many options for creating elegant, high-quality scrapbooks, albums and photo books you can customize. Your loved one will appreciate the extra effort, and will be able to pass it around the next time their friend are over.
- Get creative with Skype and Facetime calls
Thanks to technology, we’re all but a Skype call away from anyone in the world. But the next time you plan to video chat with your loved one, invite another family member to join the conversation, either in person or virtually. You can even throw a surprise Skype party the next time your loved one is celebrating a birthday. Order some balloons, buy a cake and candle, and have your closest family members gather so that your loved one can see them. If you’re feeling adventurous, try hiding everyone behind a couch to make it a real surprise You can bet that it’ll be the most memorable birthday they’ve had in a while.