Being close to loved ones is a precious commodity. Especially in the family circle, time spent together is a great gift. The time grandparents spend with their grandchildren, for example, is a great enrichment for both sides.
This has been clearly established by numerous studies in the field of behavioral and developmental psychology, above all the study Intergenerational use of time: grandparents, parents, grandchildren by the Deutsches Jugendinstitut e. V. (German Youth Institute).
Family ties in today’s world are far removed from the primarily purposeful community they often represented in earlier generations.
Even though several generations and segments of the extended family rarely live together in the same home today, bonds between children and grandparents or even other segments of the extended family form valuable bridges that develop social skills beyond being with the closest attachment figures.
And yet, contact with beloved relatives in everyday life is not always as intense as the individual might like or even benefit from. Spatial distances between family members are no longer a rarity in today’s world. Individual generations and nuclear families, in particular, are often separated by many kilometers, making regular personal contact virtually impossible.
Currently, families have to overcome even greater hurdles. The pandemic and the accompanying social distancing present people with a challenge that most of them have not yet experienced in this form.
And yet, this particular situation also creates opportunities to overcome the physical distance and create a new form of closeness. We present you with the most beautiful ideas to stay in touch with your loved ones despite social distancing.
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Photos Create Closeness
Photos are a particularly tangible way to stay close to each other. They let the other person participate in our lives and keep the memories of shared times alive.
The digital possibilities of our time have made it easier than ever to share photos with each other. A digital snapshot with the smartphone can still be sent to the grandparents or aunt from the situation and thus creates the impression of almost being there yourself.
In addition, photos offer many creative design ideas that make the spatial distance melt away in an instant. Printed photos can be used to create beautiful collages, perhaps complemented by hand-painted drawings, hand, and footprints of the children or flowers and grasses collected and dried during a walk.
Such collages are not only a wonderful gift for loved ones far away, they also offer a lot of variety and are thus the ideal program against boredom.
If the time until the next get-together becomes too long, a lovingly designed photo book can also maintain the closeness. On the computer, photo books of varying scope and design can be designed with just a few clicks and sent directly to the recipient.
Many providers do not even require special software to create a photo book. Photo books can be embedded in a thematic context and supplemented with small details such as lovingly worded messages or a dedication.
Photos on canvas are a particularly noble gift idea for those times when personal contact has to take a back seat. A beautiful family portrait or a joint snapshot of grandparents and grandchildren looks particularly good on canvas and creates a lasting memory. This is a creative way to bridge the time until the reunion.
Handwritten letters have unfortunately become a rarity. Most people resort to the digital possibilities of email, WhatsApp and Co. in everyday life.
Yet a handwritten letter is always a nice surprise in the mailbox. Personal mail is one of the best ways to maintain close contact despite physical distance.
Children who can already write themselves usually enjoy writing a letter for grandma and grandpa. But younger children can also create loving messages for the mailbox with the help of mom and dad. Writing letters on pretty stationery is the most fun.
Colorful clay paper decorated with small drawings or stickers is all that’s needed. Of course, dried flowers or photos can also be pasted on the letter. This creates a small work of art that is guaranteed to put a smile on the face of the recipient.
A particularly nice feature of lovingly self-designed mail is that it is usually soon rewarded with an equally personal response. So why not start a pen pal relationship with grandma and grandpa when visits are not possible?
Phone Calls And Video Chats
In times when we can’t live face-to-face closeness, what we miss most are exchanges with loved ones. Fortunately, we live in a time when there are also many digital ways to stay in touch.
Phone calls can create a lot of closeness in times of physical distance. If you feel like it, just make a phone call for a few minutes every day. This can be a good-morning call after breakfast or a short conversation in the evening to tell how the day went. This leaves the feeling of being able to participate in the daily life of loved ones.
Especially for grandparents who otherwise struggle with loneliness, this regular contact can be very valuable. If desired, various family members are welcome to call in from time to time throughout the day to chat a bit. This makes the physical distance melt away in no time.
Video chat can also create a great deal of additional closeness. Free programs such as Skype or special apps for smartphones or tablets allow video chats to be conducted conveniently from home at no additional cost.
In a recent article,Welt Online presents five powerful and easy-to-use apps for video chatting at home. Even the youngest children usually find it great when they can at least wave to grandma and grandpa via the screen and proudly hold up the picture they’ve drawn or the Lego tower to the camera.
Video chat is also a great way to sing or play music together, or grandma and grandpa can tell a story or read from a book. Go on a journey of discovery together and find out what’s possible digitally.
Video chats are not only important for the home office, they can also create a feeling of closeness and togetherness that is good for everyone.
Pack A Surprise
A little surprise is a nice way to say, ‘I love you. I miss you’. To create a lot of loving closeness despite physical distance, you can pack small surprise packages with your children for loved ones who can’t be with you right now.
It’s up to you to be creative about what goes inside. Self-painted pictures or handmade artwork are always a nice idea. Photos also fit into any surprise package.
Maybe you’ve scared away the boredom at home by baking cookies and would like to send grandma and grandpa a few samples. Salt dough can also be used to make creative little gifts that say ‘I’m thinking of you’.
Older children can also write a letter or a little story to go along in the package. The possibilities are endless and even the greatest distance can be bridged with a lovingly packed greeting.