How to Stay Connected to Family When We Separate After the Holidays
Oh oh, it’s time to say goodbye.
The holidays are over. The stockings saggy, and all our songs are sung.
But have no fear, ‘cos next year, yes next year – there’ll be another one!
Seriously, though… parting with family and friends after a holiday filled with so many loving faces and newfound friends can be tough…
Especially if you think we’ll have to get back into normal routines again soon – Yikes!
And yet, as AA Milne’s lovable Winnie the Pooh reminds us: “... it isn’t really Good-bye, because the Forest will always be there…and anybody who is Friendly with Bears can find it.”
In other words, there must be some way to help you and your little one retain a little something of those special times through the whole next year to come.
We have some ideas… Here’s our take on how to stay connected with family – even post separating after the holidays.
First: What keeps people connected?
People have different definitions for the word “connection”. But one thing they all have in common is that it centres around “relationships”.
In fact, the US Centre for the Developing Child says young children experience their world as an “environment of relationships”.
And that sense of connection comes from relationships where we've had positive interactions. Maybe you’ve shared experiences, made memories, and discovered you have shared interests and even beliefs with some people more than others – those are the ones you feel more connected to.
And it's much the same for your child.
It was just much easier keeping up those relationships over the holidays because they were close to each other (physical proximity) and could talk every day.
But what if you want to help your child keep up that connection – even when their grandparent, aunt, uncle or cousin goes away?
Why is it important to stay connected when we separate?
The same Centre for the Developing Child says that those “connection” relationships impact virtually every aspect of your child’s development.
There’s significant scientific evidence to show that relationships provide social support, which impacts your emotional, mental and sometimes even physical well-being.
Oftentimes, our relationships also give us a greater sense of purpose and meaning in life.
So yeah, important stuff to keep up…
How to stay connected as a family when we separate after the holidays
1. Utilise common interests and hobbies
As good a reason as any to keep up the connection! Organise activities you both enjoy, such as reading the same book, watching the same movie, or cooking a favourite recipe together – but do it virtually.
Here’s a whole list of awesome things to do long-distance.
2. Share updates and milestones
You can keep family members in the loop about what's going on in your life by sharing regularly. Make use of video calling, chat and messaging apps, as well as photo and memory sharing apps like Family Album, Tinybeans, Photocirlce or Moment Garden.
3. Make time for quality conversations
Texts, small talk and quick chats are just fine. But what about having more meaningful conversations? That’s a hard one to mimic with young kids, which is why we’ve created special “deeper-meaning” features in the Nooksy Read-Together App.
(It helps facilitate making deeper connections – see our Nooksy Tips.)
4. Make use of technology
There are many ways to stay connected with family members through video calls, social media, messaging apps, and other digital tools.
Here are some tips for video calling with toddlers.
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One of our favourite ways to help keep faraway family connected is through reading together via our app. There are so many benefits to reading together.
And, if you’re not sure, we have a guide on how to select books for our child. And even some helpful pro tips on getting the max benefit for your child in how to read each page.