Webcams Strengthen Long Distance Relationships with Family and Friends

Children Are Embracing The Tablet And Smartphone

Today, our children understand the concept of email better than “snail mail”; and with many of us facing a financial lull, it's difficult to find the time or the money to travel to see family and friends as much as we would like.

Webcams offer a unique way to connect with loved ones across the country (or the world.)

Grandparents, aunts, uncles, and other relatives will love the opportunity to see young children as they grow and have conversations with your older children. Webcams are also great for connecting with a parent who travels for business or who are in the military.

Setting Them Up

Offer to purchase a webcam for grandparents or other relatives that you wish to talk to regularly, or buy them a webcam as a gift.

Grandparents and other relatives may not be familiar with webcams or how they work. Encourage them to find a local who will set it up for them and show them how it works. Write instructions for how to start a webcam chat with you, starting from the moment they turn on the computer. Remember that this is a huge learning curve for them, and try not to get frustrated.

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Choosing a Webcam

Just like T. V.s and computers, webcams are constantly becoming more advanced, with better picture quality and more features.

I recommend that you purchase an HD webcam with a built-in microphone for family chats, like the Logitech 2 MP HD Webcam C600 with Built-in Microphone. Don't worry about added features like voice changers and special effects unless you are an advanced user.

Tips for Getting Started:

– I recommend using Skype or G+ Huddle as a video chat service. Both parties will need to use the same service to connect.

Schedule a regular day and time to “meet” on camera. Try to come up with a time when younger children are not too rowdy and energetic; Right before bedtime is good.

– Give little kids time to get used to the idea. At first, they may not understand the concept, become bored or disinterested. It can take several times before they get the hang of it.

– Encourage grandparents to tell your children stories or do other fun things on camera. Bring up topics such as how much your children have grown lately, what activities they have been involved with, what they have been learning, and other recent accomplishments. This will keep your children involved in the conversation.

Vanessa Pruitt, PLMHP, MS

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