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Most OFW parents think that giving their kids enough chocolates to put Willy Wonka to shame or sending them as many balikbayan boxes as they can to make a normal day feel like Christmas is enough to make up for being absent. But what they don’t realize is that, sometimes, the simplest things like a call or a virtual hug are better at telling you’re there for them. Often, the best ways to stay connected with your family won’t cost you so much. Here are a few suggestions:
1. Take the Time to Say Goodnight
Make sure you talk to your family before you sleep. Talk about your day. Read your kids Harry Potter before they go to bed. Say a sweet good night to your wife. Thanks to technology, there are now so many ways you and your fam can have some “we” time.
2. Make a Regular Vlog
You know how YouTube celebs have vlogs to let the world know what they’re up to? Do the same thing and send one to each other. Make a travel video diary and tour them around the city. Show them where you work, who you hang out with, what you do with your free time. Record special moments so they’d feel as if they are with you. This is a fun way to keep your family posted.
3. Be Interested in Their Hobbies
Find out what the kids are into these days and join the bandwagon. If your daughter is gushing about the latest vampire series, research the book and talk about it. Binge-watch the latest Netflix series your wife is in love with. Swap stories and crazy fan theories. Even though you are far from home, you can still have bonding moments.
These are just three things but they are as meaningful as the three words you’d always want to tell your kids back home: “I love you.” Long-distance parenting can be tough but with a little creativity, time, and effort, you can make your family feel your love even if you’re a thousand miles away.