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how do you keep in touch with your family when they live on the other side of the world?

(43 Posts)
beansmum Sun 11-May-08 17:45:53

I am moving to NZ in January and my mum is, understandably, very upset about it. I want to reassure her that we will still keep in touch and be able to chat on the phone but I can't actually work out if that is true or not. How easy is it to keep in contact, do you have to plan ahead and phone at set times or do you just stick to email? Or is it not really a problem.

They will visit loads, my sister is already looking for flights out at easter, and my parents will come at least once a year but I want to make sure we keep in touch between visits.

littlerach Sun 11-May-08 17:47:55

My PIL live in USA.
They call once a week, and we call at other times if we need to.
we use email a lot.
Have used webcams in the past.

I know dh has found that the relationship is less than t used to be, but they moved when he was 24, and he is now 41.

Mercy Sun 11-May-08 17:54:41

Dh's family are nearly all in NZ or Australia.

Phone calls, emails, email or send photos. Phone calls for birthdays, Christmas etc are particulary important. We are getting a webcam too but that's mainly for the dc adn dh (not me!)

Dh's parents visit every 2/3 years and his siblings were here on and off before they had children themselves.

It's hard but it's doable. How old are your dc?

sarah293 Sun 11-May-08 17:57:43

Message withdrawn

procrastinatingparent Sun 11-May-08 17:57:45

We just got Skype - it's great, and the GPs really love being able to see the GC and vice versa. The kids can show them their drawings, etc and the GPs can see how much they grown, where they've lost their front teeth and so on.

beansmum Sun 11-May-08 17:57:49

my ds will be 4.5 when we leave. I think it is going to be really hard on my mum because ds is young enough not to really miss her and possibly young enough to forget her completely between visits. He does talk to her on the phone at the moment though, we'll have to keep that up.

beansmum Sun 11-May-08 17:58:53

what's skype?

easyjet Sun 11-May-08 17:59:15

all things internet related

sarah293 Sun 11-May-08 17:59:27

Message withdrawn

procrastinatingparent Sun 11-May-08 18:03:58

Skype is free calls to other Skype users over the interweb, including video calls if you have a webcam. I'm not the technical one in my house but if you google it they'll be lots more info. It was fairly easy and cheap to set up, and it makes me happier about getting in touch because it is free, and I'm not thinking how much it is costing me.

Mercy Sun 11-May-08 18:04:37

Yes, keep up the phone calls etc.

My dd is now 7 and can write letters to her family in NZ which they love. We also send school/class photos, copies of school reports, school newsletters etc. Grandma also sends photos of her new cat - and the dc occasionally have a disposable camera so they can send photos back!

BroccoliSpears Sun 11-May-08 18:04:47

My parents live in another country. We talk on the phone and I suppose we keep in touch about the big things, but it is hard to maintain a close relationship. They don't know the ins and outs of my daily life. They don't know what games dd likes playing this week, what new words she can say, who her friends are, what she likes, what she doesn't. They know she's generally well though - they get the headlines and the front page stuff.

chinchi Sun 11-May-08 18:06:10

DH's family are in Turkey and Skype is fantastic. We use a web cam so they can see DS and DH says he doesnt miss home half as much because he can see it on the webcam most days!

Really easy to set up, but make sure whoever you want to stay in contact with downloads it too, and exchange usernames/email addresses when registering for Skype.

Mercy Sun 11-May-08 18:06:21

Hey riven sad

MerryMarigold Sun 11-May-08 18:07:09

SKYPE - and a webcam attached to a laptop so can follow ds around and sister can see him playing. she loves it.

expatinscotland Sun 11-May-08 18:08:34

Skype and webcams. My parents and sisters family are Skype users, too.

We now talk more than we did when I lived in Denver!

I use MSN to chat with my two best pals.

Califrau Sun 11-May-08 18:10:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Earlybird Sun 11-May-08 18:14:27

Agree about Skype, email and long distance calls (make sure you have a discounted International calling plan).

Have also found it helps immensely to agree a regular time to speak each week - saves endlessly (and frustratingly) missing each other.

beansmum Sun 11-May-08 18:14:53

Ok, will definitely get skype, sounds good. I think I might have to get my mum a new computer though, she has a really ancient one.

Mercy Sun 11-May-08 18:19:38

beansmum , with you going to NZ you need to check on the time differences - it can vary from 11, 12 or even 13 hours difference. Dh and his family are yet to work it out after all these years!

Also events like Mother's Day are on different dates in NZ and the UK, so keep an eye out for that too.

beansmum Sun 11-May-08 18:23:31

Having two clocks sounds like a plan. My mum can tell me when to change the time the UK one.

YeahBut Sun 11-May-08 18:26:10

Webcam, email, regular phone 'slot'.
Involving them on the little details of life like sending drawings or copies of (good wink) school reports etc.

Califrau Sun 11-May-08 18:30:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

expatinscotland Sun 11-May-08 18:30:52

my mom usually skypes me around 9PM.

or in the morning (US time) to see the girls.

my sister's a teacher and her kids - a teen and a preteen - are at school so it's usually in the evening or at weekends.

McDreamy Sun 11-May-08 18:33:43

We use Live Messenger to make video calls, for us it works better than skype! We don't plan to call, just have the computer on all the time and nudge to see who's around. Has worked a treat smile

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