How To Have Strong Relationships with Family Abroad

When a family moves to the U.S., there are plenty of challenges and considerations. Families have to think about logistics such as working in the U.S. when they immigrate, and how they’ll work to become part of the community they live in.
Many families also think about the people they leave back at home. For example, families may send money to relatives abroad on a regular basis as they’re earning in the U.S. Many families also struggle with how to maintain close relationships with the family they leave. One example is ensuring kids develop and maintain strong bonds with the grandparents that may still be living in their parents’ native country.
Is it possible to have a strong bond with family members who live overseas? The answer is yes, but it takes work.
The following are some tips for people who come to the U.S. but want to make sure they stay close with their family abroad and in particular the grandparents.
Schedule Video Calls
The idea of video calls can seem great when you’re far from your family, but these calls don’t always materialize because of issues like timing and busy schedules. A good way to make sure these calls happen is to schedule them.
Get in touch with family members overseas, and pick a time that will work for everyone. Schedule a call at least once every week. These calls are an important way for your children to feel connected to the family that’s living overseas.
Send Regular Email Updates
As long as your overseas family has access to email, it’s a good idea to send out regular updates. You can create a contact list not just for grandparents, but for everyone in your native country that you’d like to stay in touch with.
Some people will send these emails out every week, and it can include pictures of the family and updates on big events happening in everyone’s life.
Useful Apps
It may be tough to get grandparents onboard with of the newer technology, but some apps are great for communication. A favorite is WhatsApp, which is often preferred by people who live in other countries outside the U.S.
WhatsApp has a simple interface, and it will work on iOS and Android devices.
Send Packages
Communication apps and technology are amazing, so is an old-fashioned package. Your relatives who live abroad will likely appreciate regularly timed packages of items from the U.S., or mementos of things that show what the family and the kids are up to.
You can also encourage grandparents and family members to send small things to your kids regularly. Your kids will love getting items in the mail, and it’s a good way to connect them not only to their family that they might not see often, but also the culture of your native country. The key to maintaining strong bonds with your family even when you’re no longer living in the same country is really to set a schedule and stay consistent. It’s too easy to get busy and let things get in the way otherwise.



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