How to Teach your Toddler about Long Distance Relatives

In today’s long-distance world, your toddler might rarely see relatives who live far away. Still, for most, family is important, and you want your child to grow up with a bond with these long-distance relatives. Fortunately, the wonders of technology have granted many ways for you to familiarize your toddlers with these relatives.

Video chat

Video chat services, such as Skype, have become extremely popular and can allow your toddler to not only hear, but see, his or her long-distance relatives. They will be able to chat with him or her on the computer and see him or her at the same time. Many of these services are free and can be used by almost anyone who has an Internet connection. This makes it perfect for someone who lives in a foreign country where phone calls would be too expensive.

Phone

Of course the phone is an excellent way for toddlers to connect with their long-distance relatives. There are many long-distance plans that provide free coverage to everyone in the United States. Others provide low-cost service to many foreign countries. Many toddlers enjoy being on the phone and will learn to recognize their relative’s voices. The relatives can tell stories, make jokes or simply chat with them.

Show photographs

Photographs can be an excellent way to familiarize your toddler with his or her long-distance relatives. You can keep pictures around the house. They sell cloth photo albums that are specifically made for toddlers. You can show albums to the child and explain who each person is.

Visit

Of course nothing substitutes for actually visiting. You can make the effort to travel to see your long-distance relatives. Toddlers will start to remember more and more as they age, and they can bond well during a vacation. Of course you can also invite your relatives to visit you or try to meet them somewhere in between.

Tell stories

Many toddlers love to listen to stories. Repetition is also beneficial per Eileen Nelson, a childhood specialist at the Minnesota Department of Education. You can include stories about your long-distance relatives. Tell your toddlers funny or special things that he or she did. You can talk about their jobs or anything that would interest the toddler. For instance, if he loves firemen, then you can talk about his grandpa who used to be the fire chief.

There are many different ways to familiarize a toddler with his or her long-distance relatives. The more you do, the more he or she will remember thus you might want to try a variety of techniques to encourage bonding.