Staying in Touch While Separated
Use all communication avenues open between you and post. These days we rely on electronic mail and telephones to provide speedy connections; with added equipment one can easily add photos, videos, and even real-time communication via web cameras. If your family does not already own a digital camera, computer, or web cam, this would be a very good time to get one, or better yet, two. However, good old “snail mail” is still a very viable option and most people appreciate a hand-written note or drawing, especially from children. Buy greetings cards and presents ahead of departure; stock up on ‘Forever’ stamps if post has U.S. mail capabilities; make sure the computer, phones, cameras are in functioning order; set family ground rules for communications: e.g., length of calls; sharing air-time when Dad/Mom is on the line with one person; agree to not draw negative conclusions if one party misses a phone date; decide together which dates are the most important not to miss: e.g., birthdays, anniversary, and set up a family calendar showing schedule of calls, R&Rs, etc.
For more information request our Separated by Service guide from FLOaskUT@state.gov or visit our Resources for Parents and Children site