Staying Connected No Matter Where You Are
For many families, the holidays represent a time to connect with loved ones from far away and to gather under one roof. The annual family events help children understand their heritage while providing a sense of tradition. Studies have shown that children who grow up with strong family ties perform better in school. But for as many families getting together this year, there are those who will find it difficult to reconnect, especially those children who have one or more parents serving abroad. Thankfully, children can reap the same benefits of gathering around the table together, even while loved ones are far from home.
There is a great way to stay connected in real time if great distances separate you and your child from grandma and grandpa this year. Skype® is a simple piece of software, yet it has managed to bring video conferencing to the masses, because it is so reasonably priced. http://www.skype.com/intl/en-us/prices/ In fact, it’s downright cheap! If you already know of one or several family members who will not be attending the festivities this year, or that mom or dad will be away for business or serving our country abroad, take a look at Skype. Installing this software will allow the children to make funny faces back and forth with loved ones even when a thousand miles separate them. If you want more fun, you can even set the laptop up at the dinner table and share Turkey Day virtually! Even though you are not in the same house, or maybe even the same country, Skype and other online video chat services http://www.inc.com/magazine/20100701/3-low-cost-video-chat-services.html transcends states, countries and continents. You may have to make some adjustments for time zone changes, but that is a small price to pay to feel connected to those you love during the holidays.
Technology has another way to share candid holiday moments – your phone. We think Alexander Graham Bell would be proud that two of the most powerful tools of communication have been combined in recent years: the telephone (his invention) and the camera. Snap shots of your children and send them to friends and relatives as picture messages throughout Thanksgiving Day. Sharing these valuable moments keeps loved ones connected and also gives you an opportunity to make your child feel secure when the family nucleus isn’t the usual cast of characters. Also have fun sharing captured moments you may not have otherwise thought to share. For instance, snap a shot of the perfect Thanksgiving plate your child is about to dig into, or that very special moment when all the food is finally served and the wide-eyed table guests are about to begin dining. The moments captured in time will serve as great reminders of the lengths your family went to stay involved during the holidays and will grow into more powerful memories over time. Remember, staying connected digitally is important, but don’t let the digital connections distract you from enjoying in-person face to face time whenever possible.
Social networking sites are also a great way to connect with loved ones. They incorporate a little bit of everything you need to share the holiday with one another, no matter how near or far everyone may be at the time. Whether you upload a photo, share a live update or a link to that recipe for pumpkin pie, social networks can be a magical experience for people of all ages, especially during the holidays. It is no wonder millions of people use these sites to stay connected every second of every day. Social networks, such as Facebook, can turn a Thanksgiving away from those you love into one that makes you feel like you’re in the same room, side by side.
With some creative thinking, some very cool gadgets and tech gear, the family and friends you love will be able to share the wonderful experience of this holiday like never before. Just because you may not be “together” doesn’t mean you can’t share this day with everyone who is important to you and your child.