You can choose your friends but not your family. This is both a blessing and a curse, of course, depending on who you’re actually related to. It can seem, from time to time, that family relationships are harder to keep up with than friendships, because sometimes the sense of obligation can leave us a little tired of going to so many events, or meeting people we’re supposedly distantly related to but haven’t spoken to for quite a few years. Where do you reconnect with a cousin you haven’t seen or spoken to in fifteen years? It can be done, but it does feel a little tricky.
So – from time to time it can be nice to make the effort and try to connect with our families again. Don’t worry about time or distance, as there has never been a better time to find your way and to even help your somewhat tech-deprived family members learn how to use simple online tools for communication. Without further ado, let’s discuss how to better connect with your family going forward:
Use Video Calling Apps For Ease Of Use
You can even teach your older and tech-illiterate relatives how to do video call on WhatsApp web, which can be a nice way of catching up from a distance. Video chatting like this can provide a closer social experience than just calling, but is also a nice substitute if you’re not willing or able to meet up in person all that often.
Video calling apps can also provide a substantial ‘appointment’ with a family member as it were, allowing you to set a time and a place to really talk face to face, without having to keep up with dozens of messaging conversations between friends and every single member of the family. In this way, your conversations feel less obligatory, but deeper and more mutually appreciative.
Make A Group Chat!
It can, however, be nice to bring the family together under one banner, often making a group chat can do that. Messaging apps like WhatsApp or even your favorite social media platform will allow you to do this. Having everyone together, able to contribute to a discussion is a nice way forward, and can allow other members of your family to connect as well. Of course, if you’re not too interested in being pinged all day then you can set certain times to focus on this chat, like with scheduled notifications that only come at certain times of day. After all, if a family member needs to speak to you directly and right now, then they can also message or call you personally and you’ll receive it straight away.
Family events are a great time to connect with the family, such as a wedding, an annual event like a festive meal at the end of the year, or even a road trip you take to visit many family members along a coast. It can also be nice, however, to see family members outside of obligatory group events. It may be that you invite your cousin for coffee so you can both go shopping in one another’s company, or perhaps you’ll invite a sibling you haven’t seen in a while to the movies.
It’s often these little efforts that are appreciated and can help you avoid the common symptom of only seeing a relative at a scheduled family event. The benefit of this is that the family members might invite you to the odd personal activity too, which can be a nice way of bringing variety to your life and having non-obligatory, long-distance but still relevant friends, as it were.
Socialize With Your Older Relatives
As people get older, they tend to realize that family is all that really matters. Socializing with your older relatives will be appreciated through and through, especially if you have grandchildren who, in order to enjoy healthy development, need to meet and interact with their family members.
Older relatives may have their unique quirks, but they’ve seen a lot of life, so it can be nice to get their wisdom or just to help them out with their day-to-day tasks to make their experience a little easier. If you’re lucky, then when you reach that age you’ll have a relative as conscientious as you to help out.
With this advice, you’re sure to see how to better connect with your family, and the benefits of making that effort, as herculean as the task may seem at first.