Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Works for Me Wednesday -- Out of town relatives and toddlers

My family lives in several different parts of the country. Having moved a lot in our lives my sister and I were comfortable settling in areas away from our families. This was fine until our kids were born. Both of us are fortunate to have our MIL's to provide child care for our kids, but we also want our kids to know our family. Neither of us have any of "our" family in the same town as us. Fortunately I live only an hour and a half from my parents, but my sister lives 4 and a half away.

(I do have a tip, I promise!)

I have to attribute this to my sister. Since we do not live near all of our family our kids are not as familiar with some family members. In order to familiarize her son, my sister shows pictures to her son of family groups and tells him each person's name. It also helps him to remember people if there is another kid to affiliate the grown ups with (i.e this is so and so's mommy). What amazes me is that he is only 27 months old and can tell you nearly everyone in the family's name and is not afraid of any of them.

I have begun to do this with Hoss and it has helped him to be more acclimated to family we don't see on a regular basis. It Works for Us! Maybe it will work for you too!

For more Works for Me Wednesday ideas go visit Shannon at Rocks in My Dryer.


Robin said...

That's a really good suggestion. It can be really hard to keep those relationships strong when you're so far away.

My husband and I live on the other side of the ocean from both of our families. We've made soft-sided photo albums for each of our kids with key family members that the kids can drag around and read themselves, too.

Another thing that REALLY makes a difference for us is an internet camera. We use skype for video-calls. It's easy, it's free, and most importantly it really helps us stay connected to each other. Even kids too young to hold real telephone conversations can laugh and clap while grandma does the Itsy Bitsy Spider.

annie said...

Great tip!

Jane said...

Great tip. I am on the other side of the country from the nearest relative of any stripe. The other comments here are great too!

Kathleen Marie said...

I will have to share this great idea with my daughter. We are all going to NE for Easter and it can be overwhelming for anyone.


Kara said...

Thanks for the tip :) My family lives 3 hrs away so we don't see them as much as I'd like. I should start doing this with my Toddler.

Nikki said...

We've done this with our little ones before. I should start again. They love to look at pictures and name everyone.

Elizabeth said...

Great tip, we do something similar here for our long-distance relatives. I've also thought I should do a "family tree" with everyone's pics b/c we are forever explaining relationships.

Elizabeth (

devildogwife said...

We've created a memory wall for my daughter. We purchased one of the clear pocket charts and insert pictures of all of the family members. This helps her remember everyone even though we rarely see them.

The Bass Player's Wife said...

As an auntie who lives most of a continent away from her nephews, I thank you.
I can't tell you how much it warmed my heart to hear a young nephew say "Uncle Jon plays bass" when my husband was mentioned.

Ang said...

I started doing this after you mentioned it to me :) Great idea!! Hope that you and the lil guy are doing well!! Hey... have you heard how Dr. D is doing (our ecentric history prof...)??