Photo by Michael Morse
In Rosella Calauti’s book about building friendships, she states that friends are everywhere. They can even be found miles apart. Fostering long-distance relationships may seem impossible, but with these steps, they can happen.
Friendships are an essential part of children’s growth. As innately social beings, people already crave connections. This is satisfied through friendships happening as early as childhood.
But when these friends, even closest ones, travel or move residences, children are forced to break these connections off. Friends who once regularly played with them become a once-a-month call. Sometimes, they even become forgotten friends.
Either way, these take a toll on a child’s emotional health. Hence, it’s crucial to teach them the importance of sustaining friendships, even long-distance ones.
Long-Distance Friendships for Children
While adults may regard long-distance relationships as impossible, these may still matter to children. After all, these were friends they once made memories with. Unlike common belief, there’s nothing wrong with having and treasuring long-distance friendships.
These friendships can still thrive even with kids who may demand time to play with their friends. It’s not knocking on wood to hope these friends will stay with them.
In author Rosella Calauti’s book about building friendships, she writes about friends being everywhere. And she’s right. Friends are, indeed, everywhere. They don’t even need to be a door or a block away. Sometimes, they can be miles and miles away. Still, it doesn’t matter because friendship can be fostered regardless of the distance these friends share.
Fostering Long-Distance Friendships
There’s no surefire way to make long-distance friendships work. The only way for the connection to maintain its fire depends on each side’s effort.
Friendship is a two-way street. For it to work, equal effort and sacrifice must be made by the children involved. This can be a tricky concept for them to understand fully. But in doing these things constantly, they may realize the importance of actions rather than relying on words.
Writing as a Bridge
Communication is the most significant factor in sustaining friendships. But unfortunately, this is also the first element that goes amiss with long-distance friendships.
One way to foster these friendships is by encouraging children to write to their friends at least once a week. This can be done at the end of the week, as each child can share the exciting and interesting things that happened to them.
In the internet world, why should children write?
The greatest thing about writing letters and not merely emailing them is that children can have something to keep with them. Physical letters can be kept in a treasure box. They can even call this their “friendship box.” And when they grow older or meet again, they can always take these letters out and bond through them.
Bonding Through Video Calls
While writing can be a great way to communicate and allow children to keep treasures for themselves, these aren’t immediate. Depending on the distance, letters can take days before they arrive at the receiver. Fortunately, technology offers a solution for this matter. Video calls are a great and easy way for children to get in touch and update each other regularly.
This activity can be unusual and awkward for children. To face each other through screens can render them speechless. But this can’t be resolved with a little push or prompt from parents.
They can suggest that children talk to each other about specific things like toys or share books they’ve recently read. They may even do a house tour and bring each other closer. For added fun, parents can also suggest that they do a similar activity while on call. This will make them feel like they’re playing together, even if they’re miles apart.
Planning a Visit
There’s no better way to foster long-distance friendships than visiting. This doesn’t need to be done regularly, nor should parents promise that they can do it regularly. But visiting once a year can be an excellent way for them to reconnect. During this time, they can spend and relax together as they did before the move.
Fostering a long-distance friendship can be difficult, especially for children. But with their parents’ help and assistance, they can keep treasured friends for longer. A good friendship should be protected even from a distance.