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Family-dynamics

Extended family

Making sure your little one mixes with their family wherever in the world they are

Your children will love having a big family – whether they’re on your doorstep, or scattered around the world.

Here are five top tips for making them feel like a big, happy family...

At a glance

  • Find inventive ways of keeping in contact
  • Teach your little ones about their extended family in creative ways
  • Try to make visits as often as you can your video chat regularly
extended-family

Feeling secure and loved by family and friends is something we all crave, and children in particular get huge comfort from knowing they are part of loving, supportive family.

Grandparents, cousins, uncles, aunts and special friends can play a really special role in children’s lives, and kids love hearing about their place in this big happy extended family. But how can you nurture your child’s sense of belonging if Aunty Clare’s in Australia and cousin Jackson’s two train journeys and a bus ride across the UK?

Here are five tips for keeping the love alive in the modern world...

  • Facebook – set up a ‘closed group’ for your family members to join. This means you can all post pictures and videos that no-one else can see. Your kids will love regular updates on family life – from sports day and house moves, to new toys and home-made pizza
  • Make a scrap book –  you can create a book together showing where everybody lives, what they like and fun things you’ve done with them. Photo collections are another great way – old style photo albums or printed with a company like Photobox. You can also create your child’s story online with the BBC
  • Big up the fam – tell stories about your recent family history to keep memories alive and help children work out how they fit in. We don’t mean doling out a history lesson – stories of how Grandma Eve fell in the pond or Aunty Sally was pood on by a pigeon will go down a storm.
  • Skype – set up a regular time slot and get talking!
  • Go visit – time can fly when kids are small, with school plays, birthday parties, odd jobs and work dominating every hectic week. But carving out time to visit family will really help your children feel happy and secure.

At a glance

  • Find inventive ways of keeping in contact
  • Teach your little ones about their extended family in creative ways
  • Try to make visits as often as you can your video chat regularly
My mum lives in Spain. It's a great excuse to jump on a plane and go and visit 

Extended family