Strong family bonds add a special value to our lives, but it takes time and effort to nurture them. Today’s hectic world and lifestyle can make it really hard to stay in touch with growing families. And this issue usually affects grandparents the most.
In the past, it was much easier to stay connected with family members because people lived closer to each other. Moreover, it was common to see a few generations living in the same house. Today, children and grandchildren can easily move away to a different state, country or even a different continent. Luckily, technology advancements and affordable transportation modes make it easier to stay in touch with your loved ones.
Effective ways to stay in touch with growing families
Maintaining a strong relationship with your children once they move out of the house can be a big challenge. As they start families of their own or become dedicated to their career, they may find themselves too busy to keep in touch with you. But there are ways in which you can nurture your bonds without wasting a lot of time or money.
1. Schedule regular phone calls
Typically, arguments arise from children not calling as often as you expect, or from you calling them too often. In order to avoid this type of misunderstanding, make a schedule for phone calls during a time that’s convenient for both of you. Although it may sound a bit silly, it works.
This type of arrangement acts as a business appointment and it’s easier for everyone to stick to it. And it easily turns into a habit that’s beneficial for your family relationships. Make a phone call schedule and make sure everyone sticks to it. It will eliminate the pressure of wondering if someone is calling too little or too much. Scheduled calls are a reasonable compromise which helps maintain clear expectations for everyone in the family.
2. Mail them
Electronic or physical, mail is always a good way to show someone you care, without interrupting them. It’s the perfect solution for parents and adult children who are simply too busy to keep up with regular phone calls or visits. You can send messages that can be answered whenever it’s convenient for the recipient.
Consider starting a family email newsletter as a way to stay in touch with growing families. Even if your family members are not fond of sharing their lives in the form of a newsletter, you can still use email to stay connected. You can send them photos, videos, e-cards, and write a few loving words.
The good old physical mail can also bring a new spark in your family relations. Send pictures, letters, postcards, or small gifts to show your children and grandchildren you’re thinking of them. You will surely get a loving call from them as soon as they get your surprise.
3. Use video chat
Phone calls and mail are great means of staying connected with your family. However, there’s something about seeing each other that makes the connection much stronger, especially when it comes to grandparents and grandchildren. Kids grow and change really fast, and it’s good to have the opportunity to see each other’s faces.
That’s why video chats are perfect for family members that live far away from each other. If you can’t arrange frequent meetings, turn the camera on and enjoy! I can promise you lots of fun, especially if you have small grandchildren. Even if there’s not much talking, you will get a feeling as if they were in your home.
4. Organize regular reunions
Sometimes, there’s just no substitute for a face-to-face meeting and that’s why family reunions are growing in popularity. This type of physical gatherings are especially important once your children have kids of their own. If your children and grandkids live within a reasonable driving distance, you can schedule monthly get-togethers.
A family reunion can be as simple as a dinner at the favorite restaurant, an afternoon picnic at a park or other kid-friendly outings. Whatever activity you organize, it will allow you to reconnect with your family.
5. Take trips together
Family trips are a great way of nurturing your bonds regardless of the miles that stand between you. Online you can find a plethora of offers for affordable plane tickets to attractive locations. You can also suggest to meet your family halfway. And, it doesn’t have to be a week-long trip. Even a weekend away as a family can make a difference.
It doesn’t matter where you go or for how long, as long as you make the most out of the trip. I would suggest going somewhere new because experiencing new things together with your loved ones can really strengthen the bond. Use the time together to talk and do as many things as you can. Don’t forget to take lots of photos to keep all those memories alive.
6. Try social media
Social media platforms allow you to have insights into your children’s and grandchildren’s lives even when they are too busy for regular phone calls. You can get a glimpse of their daily mood from status updates, photos, or the videos they share. You can also use the chat for occasional messages when you want to share some private matters with them.
While social media is the most popular tool for connection and communication among young people, you need to be careful. The things you share with your family and the comments you make can be broadcast to all their friends. If you’re not careful, you may easily embarrass them unintentionally. Some family matters are best kept within the family.
7. Photo journals
Photo journals are the best way to stay in touch with growing families during the time between physical meetings. You can say a lot with a single image, and it remains a memory that you can cherish for life. Keeping a joint photo journal will help you watch your grandchildren grow and share interesting things from your everyday life with them.
That’s why we’ve created Sherish Connect, an app that allows you to keep in touch with everyone you love without the world watching. You can add photos only the family members you have chosen can see. The app lets you choose the audience for every photo or album you upload.
The unlimited storage lets you keep your photos in their full quality and never worry about losing them. Your Sherish Connect Album can grow as your family grows, keeping your memories safe and organized. You can include up to 50 family members in one membership, making your album available to them on their cell phones or large screen tablets.