Long Distance Family Survival Tips

Written by on August 24, 2012 in Family - No comments | Print this page

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These days it seems as though more and more families have to cope with the absence of a family member. Whether it be military postings, jobs out of town, travel for work of parental separations, sometimes, families have to cope with trying to stay close, even when they’re miles apart.  While patience, understanding, love and support will undoubtedly be the cornerstones of these types of relationships, there are some tips I’ve come across that I thought were worth sharing.

 Keep a journal and or scrap book that you can either send to the absent parent/family member or show them when they get home: This can be a fun activity for everybody. Keep photos, write down thoughts etc. on regular days or special occasions.

Skype or other video chat: Being able to see each other’s faces is so important and now with all of the options available thanks to today’s technology, it goes a long way to keeping family’s in touch.

Play online games together: There are lots of options out there for online games where players can be in different locations. For older kids this can be a fun way to do something special with a parent that is away.

Watch the same movie together: Rent/download the same movie and watch it together over the phone. Make popcorn, get in your jimmies, and get in the zone that you’re all together.

Make a memory/comfort blanket: This works for the away family member and that at home members.  You can cut squares out of old shirts, blankets etc. and sew them together to make a quilt. This way you can cuddle up under a blanket of memories and fell snuggled by your family

Let little kids, big kids too, keep one of Daddy or Mommy’s shirts to snuggle up in: Remember when you’d steal your boyfriend’s shirts? It always feels special to snuggle up in a loved ones clothes.

Send snail mail: Now with email, and texting etc. we don’t get regular mail very often, which makes it feel that much more special.  Send a card, a letter, a drawing, a care package, anything; it’ll be a nice surprise.

Text throughout the day: Easiest way to keep in touch through out the day. Whether it’s updates about what’s going on or just to say I love you, the ding of a text reminds you that somebody cares and that they’re there.

Keep the absent parent involved parenting: Just because one parent is away doesn’t mean that they don’t have a voice or shouldn’t be involved in parenting.  For major issues involve the away parent in the decision making.

Have pictures of the absent family member up everywhere: Pictures of happy family moments, special occasions, etc. etc. Have photos as reminders of the absent family member everywhere possible. 

Long distance relationships are hard, and many do not last, however when they involve families, there is an extra level of fortitude and perseverance that is required to make it work.  If you have any tips on what worked for your family and what didn’t please share them!

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About the Author

Jenessa Blanchet

I am a working mother of two, with a passion for writing and lending a literary helping hand to fellow parents and family enthusiasts. Born and raised on the west coast, I have a love of the outdoors; sailing, beaching and all things wonderful including constantly trying to keep a handle on family life. View all posts on Family Life.