Dear Savvy Auntie,

My nephews are 8 and 6 and my husband and I moved to Australia in December. I want to make sure that I am still a good aunt and remain a part of their lives so that when they are older they don't look back at me as that person on the phone who sent some Christmas cards and post cards every now and then. I always thought I would be the one to provide sage advice and bail them out of jail when they moon a police car! Now I won't have that with them and I want to develop a different relationship that will be just as meaningful for them as they grow up. Any good advice?

Sabrina Lunn

Dear Sabrina Lunn,

Dear Aunt Sabrina,

I hope you were also looking forward to more positive activities as they grew older!

There a few things that can make a bridge over the long geographical distance. In this age of technology you can download SKYPE (or any other free communication service) on your and their computers.  Buy headsets and mini cameras that you mount on the computers and talk live with them on a regular basis. You can also set up an email account for them and send photos of yourself and your surroundings. As they get a little older you can communicate more with words. Less technological, yet very effective, would be that each of you keep a weekly pictorial diary of your days and exchange them through “snail mail." And lastly, purchase a subscription for them to a children’s weekly or monthly newsletter or magazine. Children love to get something in the mail and these publications always have puzzles and games in them. Oops, I almost forgot, a great birthday gift is a book or toy a month. Many stores will set this service up for you free of charge.

The most important connection is your intention to keep a close relationship with your nephews; that is the main thing they tune into and feel cared about by.

Enjoy Down Under,
Natalie Robinson Garfield


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