We all know how important it is to maintain regular, meaningful contact with our kids, but today’s world makes it harder than ever to do this. Work often places travel demands on us, many of us have children living far away with a separated partner, and before we know it our children are off studying away from home at university.
For all the potential dangers the internet can pose for our children, it has at least made staying in touch so much easier, and cheaper. Here are just some of the ways you can harness the potential offered by new technology to stay in touch with your kids.
VoIP stands for voice over Internet Protocol, but what it means for you is an easier and cheaper way to stay in touch, whether at home or travelling.
Service providers like Vonage use VoIPto help you start making your phone work for you.They can offer you a much lower rate on national and international calls because there’s no physical phone network to maintain. You simply connect their adapter to your broadband router and plug your phone into it to get the benefit of cheap internet calls. You can choose ‘virtual numbers’ with a dialling code local to your children and they can call you at local rates, giving them no excuses for not ringing home.
Better still, however, you can take the adapter with you when you travel and connect it up to any broadband supply and make and receive calls on your home number, whilst benefiting from VoIP’s much lower rates. So you can wave bye-bye to roaming charges when in Rome (or anywhere else you have to travel to).
People are often wary of using Facebook for personal communications but, as long as your privacy settings are set up right, there’s no reason not to share videos and pictures with your family group whilst you’re away. It’s a great way to keep in touch, and can make for easier conversations as it provides a common point of reference for all.
Whilst not the perfect vehicle for an involved conversation, if you’re away on the day of a sports competition, an exam or any other important event, sending your love and thoughts by IM is a great way to show you have remembered and care.
Twitter or blogs
Tweeting is ideal to keep up your presence whilst away and instantly let everyone know where you are and what you’re thinking about.
Keeping a blog may seem like an odd way to keep in touch, but it can be a great way to encourage the whole family to share their thoughts and air their feelings about family life.
More than virtual
From social networks to VoIP, the internet has brought with it many surprising ways that families can keep in touch. Far from being virtual and artificial, these ways make it easier and cheaper for families to stay in contact. It may seem odd to tweet the kids but after a few goes it quickly becomes indispensable.