How to Stay a 'Family' Over Long Distances

Reviewed Aug 23, 2016

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Summary

Use technology such as phones, email, family blogs, online photo-sharing, etc. to keep in touch.

Just recently, I found myself looking at a national weather map to note the conditions in four different locales: my own; my husband’s, who is currently working in another state; and my two daughters, who are both at different universities. It’s a small thing, but knowing what each of them would face in the way of weather made me feel a bit closer to their day-to-day lives.

Use technology to connect you

Many families face similar circumstances. Fortunately, technology has made staying in touch relatively cheap and easy. Regular communication is key, but it needs to be quality communication. How to do that? Find interesting, up-to-date things to talk about. A few simple tricks:

  • Bookmark your loved one’s local newspaper, school or place of business online so you can discuss current news.
  • Schedule times for unhurried conversations. Have a once-a-week family conference call or video chat.
  • Start a book, movie or music club online. Share favorite Internet sites. Use a scanner to share interesting articles or book excerpts. 
  • Make a big deal out of birthdays and holidays. E-cards are fun, but they can get old after awhile. Create personalized emails instead. Jazz them up with different fonts, backgrounds and images. 
  • Start a family group at a social-networking website or create a family blog. Facebook and Pinterest are great ways to share posts, pictures, articles and ideas with each other. Instagram is a fun way to share instant photos/comments with loved ones.
  • Snail mail may be slow, but one thing remains constant—everyone likes to get a package. If you receive one—respond promptly with a “thank you.” 

Be available

Don’t wait until a reunion to share feelings. If you hear a song, and it reminds you of the person, let him know. Is something bothering you? Tell her while it’s on your mind. Don’t let it build up until it’s a bigger problem. Here are some other tips:

  • Respond promptly to emails.
  • Send texts and instant messages—but only if you like to do it. Don’t let it become an annoyance.
  • Invest in a family cell phone plan and have emergency contacts.
  • Help “nontechie” relatives get online.
  • Nothing beats face time. Schedule as many visits as your budget will allow. Meet at in-between spots. 
By Amy Fries

Summary

Use technology such as phones, email, family blogs, online photo-sharing, etc. to keep in touch.

Just recently, I found myself looking at a national weather map to note the conditions in four different locales: my own; my husband’s, who is currently working in another state; and my two daughters, who are both at different universities. It’s a small thing, but knowing what each of them would face in the way of weather made me feel a bit closer to their day-to-day lives.

Use technology to connect you

Many families face similar circumstances. Fortunately, technology has made staying in touch relatively cheap and easy. Regular communication is key, but it needs to be quality communication. How to do that? Find interesting, up-to-date things to talk about. A few simple tricks:

  • Bookmark your loved one’s local newspaper, school or place of business online so you can discuss current news.
  • Schedule times for unhurried conversations. Have a once-a-week family conference call or video chat.
  • Start a book, movie or music club online. Share favorite Internet sites. Use a scanner to share interesting articles or book excerpts. 
  • Make a big deal out of birthdays and holidays. E-cards are fun, but they can get old after awhile. Create personalized emails instead. Jazz them up with different fonts, backgrounds and images. 
  • Start a family group at a social-networking website or create a family blog. Facebook and Pinterest are great ways to share posts, pictures, articles and ideas with each other. Instagram is a fun way to share instant photos/comments with loved ones.
  • Snail mail may be slow, but one thing remains constant—everyone likes to get a package. If you receive one—respond promptly with a “thank you.” 

Be available

Don’t wait until a reunion to share feelings. If you hear a song, and it reminds you of the person, let him know. Is something bothering you? Tell her while it’s on your mind. Don’t let it build up until it’s a bigger problem. Here are some other tips:

  • Respond promptly to emails.
  • Send texts and instant messages—but only if you like to do it. Don’t let it become an annoyance.
  • Invest in a family cell phone plan and have emergency contacts.
  • Help “nontechie” relatives get online.
  • Nothing beats face time. Schedule as many visits as your budget will allow. Meet at in-between spots. 
By Amy Fries

Summary

Use technology such as phones, email, family blogs, online photo-sharing, etc. to keep in touch.

Just recently, I found myself looking at a national weather map to note the conditions in four different locales: my own; my husband’s, who is currently working in another state; and my two daughters, who are both at different universities. It’s a small thing, but knowing what each of them would face in the way of weather made me feel a bit closer to their day-to-day lives.

Use technology to connect you

Many families face similar circumstances. Fortunately, technology has made staying in touch relatively cheap and easy. Regular communication is key, but it needs to be quality communication. How to do that? Find interesting, up-to-date things to talk about. A few simple tricks:

  • Bookmark your loved one’s local newspaper, school or place of business online so you can discuss current news.
  • Schedule times for unhurried conversations. Have a once-a-week family conference call or video chat.
  • Start a book, movie or music club online. Share favorite Internet sites. Use a scanner to share interesting articles or book excerpts. 
  • Make a big deal out of birthdays and holidays. E-cards are fun, but they can get old after awhile. Create personalized emails instead. Jazz them up with different fonts, backgrounds and images. 
  • Start a family group at a social-networking website or create a family blog. Facebook and Pinterest are great ways to share posts, pictures, articles and ideas with each other. Instagram is a fun way to share instant photos/comments with loved ones.
  • Snail mail may be slow, but one thing remains constant—everyone likes to get a package. If you receive one—respond promptly with a “thank you.” 

Be available

Don’t wait until a reunion to share feelings. If you hear a song, and it reminds you of the person, let him know. Is something bothering you? Tell her while it’s on your mind. Don’t let it build up until it’s a bigger problem. Here are some other tips:

  • Respond promptly to emails.
  • Send texts and instant messages—but only if you like to do it. Don’t let it become an annoyance.
  • Invest in a family cell phone plan and have emergency contacts.
  • Help “nontechie” relatives get online.
  • Nothing beats face time. Schedule as many visits as your budget will allow. Meet at in-between spots. 
By Amy Fries

The information provided on the Achieve Solutions site, including, but not limited to, articles, quizzes and other general information, is for informational purposes only and should not be treated as behavioral health care or management advice. Please direct questions regarding the operation of the Achieve Solutions site to Web Feedback. If you have questions related to workplace issues, please consider contacting your human resources department. ©2017 Beacon Health Options, Inc.

 

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