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I’m excited to announce that I’m working with Kidvelope to showcase their awesome products to help keep family and friends connected even if they are geographically separated. But since that doesn’t happen very often with military kids, (insert sarcastic tone here), I will highlight some ways for your kids to keep connected with distant family and friends.
Connect Through Social Media
These days it is so much easier to stay connected with people with apps like Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, or Viber. Your child can send messages in their time zone to a person in another time zone without calling and waking up that person. The person can just respond to the message at their earliest convenience. Most of these apps have the ability to video chat which is great, because it gives you the ability to see and hear the ones you’re close to. These video chats will need some kind of coordination if different time zones are involved though. On these apps, I suggest monitoring your child’s use and keep an eye on who they are talking to. The social media world can be a dangerous place for young children to navigate. Kidvelope is designed to be child friendly and has safeguards such as having to sign to play. It allows them to interact safely and enjoyably. I feel it’s important to teach them skills related to using social media as they will need to use these tools as adults. Social media is such a complex tool to use because there can be such a negative impact that it can have on young minds if we don’t guide our children through this virtual world. Games like Kidvelope help develop kids in this area.
Keeping Photos or Belongings from That Person
As nice as social media networks are, we cannot and should not always be on all the time. Another way to keep the focus on someone who is not at your same physical location is to keep photos of them up. When my husband would deploy I would make a deployment wall where we placed a photo of him. We also have photos on our walls of friends and family. Bonus points if your child is in the photo having a good time with that person. Another way to stay connected is to have the child keep one of the person’s belongings. A hat, a favorite mug or even that person’s pillow. My son took my husband’s pillow when he was TDY once and it’s actually still in his room.
Handwritten letters a lost art but still so meaningful. These letters are much more personalized than texting someone. It can be momento that the child can see or touch for the rest of their lives. It also teaches skills like writing and grammar. They also learn how to address an envelope and how the postal service works. The great thing is Kidvelope has letter writing built into its adventures making it more intriguing to do.
Make It A Routine (If Possible)
One of my husband’s deployments allowed him to have a fairly regular schedule and pretty reliable connection so we would call him after dinner. The kids knew they could look forward to that time more often then not which gave them security in knowing they would be able to talk to their dad. If you’re dealing with a deployment situation it may not always be possible for your spouse to call at the same time everyday, or even call regularly because of the remoteness of where they may be. Work around that the best your family can.
Routine communication can be done with extended family and friends. This can be every Saturday or Sunday as these have a tendency to be the more flexible days with no school or work. If time differences are involved later in the afternoon is probably best for everyone. It important to check people’s schedules, time zones and the other myriad of factors the make it difficult to connect. It may take some time to find a good time for your child to speak with their loved ones but it will be well worth it once you get into the swing of it.
Make It Enjoyable
We all hear the stories of drama when family visits once a year for Thanksgiving or Christmas. Does it have to be that way? No. Of course there will be times when you argue with each other but if we are kind to one another and assume that person has good intentions, we can curb lots of issues. To help build our relationships up we can focus on the positive and do fun things together. This can include reading a book together, watching a show or playing a game like Kidvelope. Brainstorm with your family to see where the interests lie.
I hope you find this article helpful and it keeps you connected to your loved ones no matter where they are! If you want to try out Kidvelope, they were gracious enough to give my readers a 25% off code on one of their kits! Just type THANKYOU in the discount code.