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Military OneSource Tip of the Week - Keep in Touch after a PCS

Source: Military Community and Family Policy (MC&FP) Weekly eNewsletter

Service members soon learn how the demands and excitement of a PCS can challenge relationships with family and friends at previous locations. Following are ways you can stay connected with long-distance loved ones.

Phone

  • Schedule times for unhurried conversations with individual loved ones. Be sure to consider time differences.
  • Invest in a family cell phone plan and have emergency contacts.
  • Learn to send photos and text messages with your cellular phone.

Online

  • Start a family group at a social networking website or create a family blog (your own personal website).
  • Consider videoconferencing.
  • Respond promptly to emails.
  • Send instant messages - but only if you like to do it. Don't let it become an annoyance.
  • Consider using the phone through your computer if it is effective and inexpensive.

Mail

  • Create a family newsletter to let others know what you have been up to. Including a "from the mouths of babes" section with quotes from your children will give relatives unique insight into your family and help to make the newsletter more personal.
  • Make a big deal out of birthdays and holidays. Send personalized cards or care packages through the mail.
  • Send kids' artwork. While parents love to see the many art projects their children bring home from school, these masterpieces can only hang on the refrigerator for so long. Sending artwork to far-away family members is a wonderful way to help them chart your children's development.

Photos

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  • Find an online easy-to-use photo-sharing format for your digital photos.
  • Invest in a digital video camera or web camera to make and send fun family videos.
  • To help family members get a sense of your family's daily life, let your children carry around a camera for a week. Have them take pictures at baseball practice, ballet class, or just hanging around with friends. Help them to compose an autobiography on "A Week in the Life of Me."

 

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