Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Works For Me Wednesday

It seems the days of living near extended family are gone for most of us.

Forming relationships with extended family can take effort. As a mother of 12, my MIL has somewhere near 70 grandchildren and around 20 great grandchildren. She has done a wonderful job, in my opinion, of keeping in touch with the grandchildren and making them feel special.

Grandma would send the individual children letters that contained items she had selected especially for them. Each would include a card or letter and various items as simple as pictures she had cut out of a magazine of something as simple as a puppy or kitten, or maybe a picture of a grandmother and child holding hands and taking a walk. She would write a comment such as "Remember when we took a walk when I came to visit? How many birds did we see?" Sometimes she would include a dollar bill with instructions to "Make Daddy take you to buy a candy bar.". Maybe there would be a picture she took while here or a small toy or book. My kids were so excited to get these special letters.

We returned the favor by letting the kids put packets together to send to Grandma. Each would include a letter written by the child, and such items as pictures drawn, copies of papers written for school projects, poems the child wrote, pictures, basically anything that could be mailed.

Now with the internet available to almost everyone a family blog is a great way to keep extended family in touch. Maybe a family could share a private blog. it would be an easy way to share pictures and info quickly while keeping the phone bills down.

I have seen blogs that grandparents have set up just for their grandchildren to visit. Why not print out each post and put them into a notebook that the child can look at whenever they would like. You are able to share photos and videos (even the silly ones) as well which is something that extended family often misses out on.

A blog that children contribute to would also be a great tool for homeschooling. It could be used to share work that the children are doing in school that grandparents seldom get to be part of.

I think this would be a wonderful way to keep in touch. A private blog can take the place of traditional Round Robin letters that many families use. For more WFMW tips go to Rocks In My Dryer.


Overwhelmed! said...

Most of my side of the family is out of state. We work hard at keeping in touch through letters, phone calls, emails, and occassional visits. Now that Snuggle Bug loves to color, I need to start mailing out some of his pictures. I know my family would love it!

We're going back for a family visit the first week in May. I can't wait!

Laura said...

Depending on your family's technological abilities, try Skype - we bought ourselves and my parents webcams (merry christmas), and now we can video conference for free over the internet. We don't do it often, but often enough.

Carrie J said...

Thanks for the comment OWhelmed. I think GParents love getting kids drawings. When my Grandmother died my aunt gave me a box of letters and pictures I had sent over the years.
Laura, I'll have to check out Skype. I haven't heard of it. All our family is out of state. Sounds interesting.