Families are more geographically separated than ever before, but we can create bonds with modern technology, even when far away. Loved ones, young and old, will be so incredibly excited to see you via video chat options like Facetime, Zoom, or Skype. However, keeping conversations exciting and worthwhile after a few minutes can be challenging. We all know how long a conversation about a dinner date or weather changes can last – spoiler, it’s not very long. Although the physical distance may sometimes be frustrating, it’s helpful to remember that it truly makes the heart grow fonder.
Before calling your loved one for a video chat, be sure you’re going into the call prepared – just as you would do for a job interview or meeting. If you’re motivated to have a great conversation, grab a pen and paper and write down a few topics, you would like to talk about and some questions you have for your loved ones about things they did recently. Not sure what they’ve been up to? Peruse their social media pages to see if they went to a cool restaurant, vacation, hike, etc. You can also touch base with them every so often via text and write down things you want to elaborate on further once you have an in-depth video call.
Here are a few Things to talk about on FaceTime to help promote bonding with your distant loved ones:
1. Talk about family traditions
While you’re the elder or budding youth, discussing family traditions can help keep them alive and ensure they don’t fall through the cracks for a few years. If your family has a treasured recipe, you can ask to bake it on camera with your loved one. This will lead to conversations about the glory days.
2. Discuss the future
Talking virtually to your little loved ones about the future will get them thinking ahead at a young age which can help them think critically about what they want out of life. This can lead to some fascinating conversations about changes you would’ve made at their age and even some advice that they would find useful. It’s always a good idea to encourage young kids to become educated, well-traveled, and kind. For example, if a young child is excited about climbing trees, consider talking to them about the importance of rainforests. Discuss where they are located, how they contribute to the health of the entire world, and how people go to school to learn more about how to protect them and the animals that live there.
3. Give support & advice
If your loved one is feeling down at the start of your video call, ask them if they are open to talking about it. Offer to listen to their concerns or frustrations and offer some sound advice. If you’re the older loved, you likely have great advice for a broken heart or discouraged soul. For younger loved ones, reassure your elders to let them know they are loved, important, and cared for.
4. Take an adventure in real-time
Who said that FaceTime calls need to exist in couches and dining room tables? Instead, venture out into your backyard to participate in virtual bird watching, bring your phone to the beach and look for beautiful shells, or take a hike down to the river and have your distant family enjoy some gorgeous views while you catch up on what’s new. Being in new and ever-changing surroundings will keep things exciting and offer a long list of conversation topics to keep the call interesting.
5. Ask this or that questions
You wholeheartedly love your family, but how well do you know them? Consider writing down some simple ‘this or that questions for a game night-style video chat that will reveal a lot you never knew about your loved ones. Here is some inspiration:
- Cats or dogs?
- Salty or sweet?
- Country or city?
- Old or new?
- Gold or silver?
- Lakes or oceans?
- Rivers or ponds?
- Mountains or deserts?
- Coke or Pepsi?
- Mustard or ketchup?
- Mornings or nights?
You make the questions more mature for older family members by adding more detail. Consider these would you rather questions for inspiration:
- Would you rather be a house plant in the midwest or a rat in New York City?
- Would you rather fight an elephant-sized duck or 100 duck-sized elephants?
- Would you rather pay $100 daily for drinking water delivery or have unlimited access to clean water one mile away?