I live four hours away from my parents, not too far, but far enough that Anya and I don’t have access to them whenever we want. I have a deep appreciation for the close bond that Anya has with my mother and father. It isn’t easy being a single mom with no family in close proximity. Luckily, my mother who is an outstanding grandmother visits probably twice a month. My mother makes every effort to be an active part of Anya’s life. She speaks with her every day, comes every Christmas, goes to her ballet recitals, and does more than I can even list. When we go home to visit I actually have to carry Anya out of the house, which is heartbreaking because she doesn’t want to leave. I grew up seeing my grandparents almost every day, so I’ve always valued the close bonds of family.
In this day and age people seem to be moving further away from families and the only time they spend time together is on the holidays. Now, airfare is expensive, vacation time is scarce, and money can be tight, but find creative ways for your kids and extended family to stay in touch throughout the year.
Here are a few ideas to keep family bonds strong
Just Call to Say I Love You
You may not be able see one another every weekend, but why not pick up the phone and call? With so many different calling plans available calling your loved ones has never been easier or cheaper. Schedule a time once or twice a week for your kids to call their grandparents, uncles, aunts, or cousins. This is a great way to keep in touch and grandparents love hearing about all the excitement that is going on at home and at school.
Use Social Media to Your Benefit
Who doesn’t have a Facebook account these days? Facebook, twitter, and family websites are an excellent way for family members to see what is going on in your kid’s life. They can share pictures on Facebook, give regular updates on their day, and share a laugh or two. Family websites can be your online scrapbook that everyone gets to participate in. Social media has made it easier than ever for loved ones not miss out on a minute of your family’s special times.
Send Cards and Write Letters
Nothing is more personal than a handwritten note. On the flip side of all the great things about social media is the fact that most people don’t take the time to sit down and write a heartfelt letter. If you have little kids who are just learning to spell, have them create their own card and send it through the mail, believe me your family will cherish them. Send thank you notes, birthday cards, homemade art, and I’m just thinking about your cards that will brighten up their day.
Plan a Family Vacation
The good old family vacation is still popular among many families. It doesn’t have to be an extravagant vacation, it could be a long weekend in a cabin or it can be a week vacation every other year. The point is any time is quality time. Try to get together as often as you can. Meet in the middle if you live some distance away to make traveling easier on everyone.
There are tons of creative ways to keep your children involved with their extended family. Don’t forget to share your childhood and fond stories about your family this gives them a sense of their roots. Children need to have those bonds so they can create them with their own family when they are adults. When you make an effort for your children to spend time with their family despite their location it gives them a deep appreciation for the love, devotion, and bonds that families have.
Copyright © Chere Williams, Moms of Faith, All Rights Reserved
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