It’s your daughter’s first year away at school, and while you communicate via FaceTime once a week, nothing beats an in-person connection. And your son? Between sports and school, he barely has time to himself. If it feels as though your once tight-knit family isn’t as close as it used to be, don’t fret. Below, seven ways to stay in touch, no matter the distance.
Lend Your Voice
Being read to at bedtime is one of the greatest feelings, right? But realistically, it can be hard for parents or grandparents to do this every single night. Thank goodness we stumbled upon recordable storybooks. They’re the perfect way to be present without actually being in the room. All you need to do is choose a book, read it aloud and record as you go, adding in little personal touches like the child’s name or a book dedication.
Share and Create a Music Playlist with Ease
Music is one of the best ways to bring people together, so why not share your lyrical tastes with the ones you love? The new subscription-based, family-friendly app WEYV, which is recommended by Coterie member Carley Knobloch, makes it easy to share music (and magazines) thanks to the WEYV Notes feature. Users can invite members to collaborate on playlists and reading lists, share content and even create private groups based on individual interests. Oh, and WEYV adheres to all the online child-safety laws, so you don’t have to worry about what the under-13 set is hearing.
Mail Care Packages
There’s no better feeling than receiving a box filled with sentimental goodies from someone you haven’t seen in a while. If you live in different states (or even countries), fill your care package with the things you love from your area, like the town bakery’s famous coffee crumb cake. It will give the person on the receiving end a better idea of what you get to experience day to day. Don’t feel like shipping a big box? Simply Venmo your recipient the dollar amount of your choice with a little note like “Coffee’s on me this week.” That’s a small gesture anyone would appreciate.
Motivate Each Other
You might not be together physically, but that doesn’t mean you can’t motivate each other to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Track your workouts and exercise progress each week using an app like MyFitnessPal where you can become “friends” with other users. After a run or walk around the neighborhood, log your time and any other notes in the app so you and your friends can celebrate each other’s personal records or help bring someone out of an exercise rut.
Share Photo Albums
It’s pretty safe to assume that everyone in your close circle has a smartphone. While there are so many different things these phones are capable of, tap into the basics, like album sharing. Add members to an album that has a specific purpose, like “The Cutest Grandchildren Ever” or “Family Vacations,” so that everyone can quickly share photos right to the group. Now you won’t have to remind your sister ten times to send you the shot from last year’s trip to Italy.
Follow and Tag Each Other on Social Media
And by that, we don’t mean posting a status update every five minutes. Instead, find something you have in common, and whenever you see a video, photo or article related to that topic, tag the person in that post or forward it to them. For example, if you’re both obsessed with dogs (golden retrievers, obviously), tag each other every time you see an adorable video. This is a really quick and easy way to stay in touch throughout the day even if you don’t have time to actually talk.
Start a “Bookless” Club
We know, what’s a book club without a book? Hear us out. Given everyone’s passions and busy schedules, reading the same book might be a little tricky. Instead, have each family member share a favorite article from the web, read it and discuss. (Hint: WEYV is the perfect app for sending articles, too.) Think of it this way: If you’re not into one of the topics (surprise, Kevin chose another baseball story), just remember it’s only a few pages and not a 300-page book.