Maintaining a Bond with Stepchildren who Live Far Away - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 9 Old 08-11-2010, 12:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My 2 DSDs (ages 11 & 13.5) were with us for the summer and I find that I really miss them. What are some things that you do to maintain a positive, loving relationship with your stepkids during the time you are apart? I interact with older DSD on FaceBook. Sometimes we talk on the phone. During their summer visit, we talked about writing letters. We also talked about both families getting web cams so that we can see each other when we're not together.

These are some of my ideas:

Occasional Phone Conversations (I say occasional because their dad talks to them every week. Sometimes they ask to speak to me. Sometimes they don't, and I don't want to be pushy in any way.)
Occasional FaceBook Interactions (with older DSD)
Letters
Cards

Are there some things I haven't thought about? I have pretty good relationships with both girls. I also relate well with their mom. When they're with us, I occasionally take 1:1 time with each of them for an hour or so. They really seem to appreciate the time I spend with just them. It took me a year to realize they wanted to spend time with just me on occasion, and doing so has really benefited our individual relationships. I had previously thought they only needed 1:1 time with DH. I'm always careful about not overstepping my boundaries as a stepmom, but also letting them know that I love them very much.

Also, any ideas on how DH can maintain a bond with them over distance is helpful, too. Thanks so much!
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#2 of 9 Old 08-11-2010, 12:22 PM
 
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If you do get webcams, skype is a great way to go. It's free and easy to use. That's what my 2 DSDs use to comunicate with their mom.
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#3 of 9 Old 08-11-2010, 12:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by jstpmm View Post
If you do get webcams, skype is a great way to go. It's free and easy to use. That's what my 2 DSDs use to comunicate with their mom.
What is skype?
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#4 of 9 Old 08-11-2010, 12:34 PM
 
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http://www.skype.com/intl/en-us/get-skype/

It's video calling. So you can see each other while you talk.
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#5 of 9 Old 08-11-2010, 12:35 PM
 
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My 2 DSDs are very young still so talking on the phone didn't work to well, it didn't hold their attention. Since skyping they will talk for almost 20 mins sometimes instead of 1 or 2 mins on the phone.
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#6 of 9 Old 08-11-2010, 09:02 PM
 
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My step-son (11) lives with us and it is his Mom who has the long-distance relationship. He seems to like FB chatting and receiving letters, but he does not like being expected to write back. He feels like he does enough writing by hand, for school. He really likes getting little unexpected packages, with a note or card and random stuff like stickers, Silly Bandz, or souvenirs and freebies from places his Mom visits.

Also, I make a real point of taking tons of photos and making an album for him to take on the plane with him, when he goes out to visit her for the summer, with pictures to remind him of our fun times as a family. I put so much effort into it because we have a serious issue with his Mom trying to alienate him from his Dad. Showering a kid in that situation with photos, to remind him of his reality when with his Dad (as opposed to the version of reality his Mom paints) is a recognized way to combat P.A. However, I'd assume that small photo albums (or internet slide-shows) would be a good way to maintain the bond with any long-distance kid, even when the other parent isn't problematic.

One woman in a house full of men:  my soul mate:  partners.gif  orfencing.gif... twin sons:lurk.giflurk.gif(HS juniors) ... step-son: guitar.gif (a freshman) ... our little man: kid.gif  (a kindergartener) ... and there is another female in the house, after all:  ourdog2.gif. 
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#7 of 9 Old 09-18-2010, 01:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the responses.

One of my DSDs (the 11 year old) sent DS a letter with a couple little scrapbook-like pages. I want to make a special album for him. Also, I think I will have him do a finger painting for each of them. I plan to periodically send them things from DS (he is 7 1/2 months now).

Skype sounds great and we are certainly looking into getting a web cam. In fact, that may be a Christmas gift for the girls this year, so that we can communicate more "in person."
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#8 of 9 Old 09-18-2010, 10:15 PM
 
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oops...

One woman in a house full of men:  my soul mate:  partners.gif  orfencing.gif... twin sons:lurk.giflurk.gif(HS juniors) ... step-son: guitar.gif (a freshman) ... our little man: kid.gif  (a kindergartener) ... and there is another female in the house, after all:  ourdog2.gif. 
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#9 of 9 Old 10-01-2010, 10:13 AM
 
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Poetrylover,

i think your ideas are good. there are so many things you can do (and technology finds that way) to keep the bond with your step children.

I don't care how poor a man is; if he has family, he's rich. ~Dan Wilcox and Thad Mumford
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