Missing You: Staying Connected During a Pandemic
We're still in the middle of a pandemic that seems to have no end in sight. Social distancing and quarantine have become our new normal over the last two years. While many of us adults find ourselves spinning dizzy, still trying to adapt, it's easy to forget how much our kids are impacted by all of this - especially the absence of family members, friends, and other loved ones. Social interaction with other people, after all, is good for us.
Luckily, there are plenty of ways to make it work and stay connected. Here are some tips for helping kids (and adults) find ways to stay in touch with loved ones despite the distance.
Passing the time
It helps to remember that the time away from loved ones is not forever; it is just for right now. This will help kids understand that there will be a time for them to see the ones they love again. If you land a date that works to see family safely, mark that date on the calendar, and then your child can have fun counting down the days until the big day.
Take advantage of technology
Well, there is no perfect time for a pandemic. But with today's technology, we are certainly very fortunate to have so many resources that help us stay connected with each other. For example, zoom is great for groups of three or more because it allows multiple people to log into the platform. Facebook and Instagram are great because they have a call and video feature for one-on-one conversations.
A phone call is an easy and simple way to schedule a time to connect during the week. You could also mark this as an event on the calendar for your child to look forward to as a part of their normal routine.
When my little one does something cute, funny, or just plain strange that I just have to tell my family at the moment, I send a quick text or picture in the family group chat. We've shared a lot of fun moments with distant this way. This is a great option to quickly share the news on the go.
Other Ways to stay connected
Journal - I recently learned about a really fun way to stay connected by journaling back and forth with someone. This would be great for those that live in the same neighborhood or nearby, where you can pass back an actual journal back and forth by local drop-off (as safely as possible). Call me bias, but I think this would be a fun way for kids to come up with a fun story together. There is a bit of effort you have to commit for this option to stay in touch, but it is very personal and sweet.
A digital (and simpler) way to do this would be through email, of course.
Send Hugs in the Mail -Make cards/sweet notes and send them through snail mail. There is something about actual paper and a pen that makes it feel even more personal. I know we're used to instant communication, but for kids, there's a bit of fun in waiting to get something in the mail.
This would also be a great way to send care packages or thoughtful gifts with a nice note to let someone know you are thinking of them.
Read to each other- Use video and phone calls to read stories while spending time together. You can take turns choosing titles and share a lot of quality reading time with a variety of stories. Be sure to add my new story, Hugs In the Mail, to your reading list (available at The Literacy Shop)!
Throw a watch party- Instead of telling someone about a favorite movie, use the Watch Party feature found on apps to gather a few people to watch movies and shows together. We haven't used this one yet, but I'd like to.
Stay Positive-Listen; we're all just doing the best we can with the best we have - so stay positive. Help your child try not to focus on how much they miss someone, instead use some creativity to keep those connections strong.
We don't know what the future holds, but we all want to be together again, and we will. Birthday parties, movie night, date night, eating outdoors, barbeques, holidays, and much more without worrying. We don't know when that time will come, but it will come. I'm looking forward to it, and I know you are too. Until then, we're managing the here and now.
I hope this helps all the parents out there trying to keep kids in touch with loved ones. Thanks for reading!
Written by: Kimberly Davis-Peters