Staying In Touch When Family Lives Far Away

When we moved to Boston from Sydney, Australia 3 years ago, the hardest part was the thought of separating our kids from their extended family. We still want aunts, uncles, grandparents and cousins to be a strong presence in their lives. How do we maintain that, when everyone lives so, so far away?

Here are a few of the things we've tried:

1. Photos. Photos of our extended family adorn the walls of our hall, and we talk about them often.

2. Skype. Of course. We make sure to have Skype chats whenever we can, even when we feel too tired or in crabby moods, just to keep lines of communication open.

3. Big deal visits. Whenever we have family come from overseas we offer (if they would like it) time with just the kids so they can have a good bonding opportunity. Sometimes we will even have a birthday party for one of the kids, or a Christmas party, even if it isn't exactly Christmas or their birthday, just so that family member who is visiting can be included in our special celebration.

4. Last of all, we love care packages! Getting care packages from family means so much, even if they are just filled with little things. We had one last year that included craft materials like popsicle sticks that our 3 year old had a blast with, and is still using.

But this is just the start, I know. I am sure we can do more. I would love to hear from any of you who are also living far from your original home. How do you keep connected with your family? Leave your suggestions below!

(Image: Alison Gerber)