Our daughter (my step) is ten years old and currently lives out of the country with her mom. That in itself is a long story but is what it is. We get her for a good chunk of the time 2x a year right now. My question is, what is good contact with a child that does not live in your home? We have a regular call schedule, but text/ random call as much as we can. Sometimes she doesn’t respond for days, and we reach out again. But I never want to look back and for her to think we didn’t try hard enough (or god forbid that ever used against us). She has other siblings in both households, and both live hectic schedules/lives. The time difference between households is significant enough that our “free” time maybe while she is in school or in bed. I’m just having a hard mom moment because I feel like I want to smother her with calls/ texts and our love because I don’t want her to ever feel we aren’t thinking of her, but it’s hard to do from thousands of miles away. Any thoughts/ opinions would be greatly appreciated. Please be kind.
Send videos back and forth With updates and like “just thinking about you” kind of stuff? This way the time of day doesn’t matter.
She is lucky to have a step mom that cues so much
Send messages/videos/emails. Maybe once a month (or weekly) a care package of little things…maybe crafts, shelf stable snacks, little things that remind you of her. The shipping may get expensive but the goodies inside doesnt have to cost a fortune! Remember its the little things that say i love you! Good luck momma!!
Send snail mail!! Kids love getting mail!!! Doesn’t have to be expensive. Send her a journal and silly gel pens or some stationary to write letters to you. Some stickers or stamps. Dollar tree and 5 below are my kids fave places … wander through and see what looks like something she would like. My girls are 11 & 13 they still love things from these places. Make a picture frame from popsicle sticks and put a silly picture in it or a cheap photo album of the siblings letting her know you are thinking of her and hoping she’s thinking of you too!
We FaceTime with my SO’s daughter at least every other day. She’s only 6 so I know it’ll get harder as she gets older and busier, but we make sure to talk to her multiple times a week.
I actually have a similar situation I know what your going through, I send random craft kits, cards, I’ve even made a scrapbook for mine with pictures we’ve taken together. I call every week with a video call and send Random messages when possible. Even if she doesn’t respond right away she’ll read it and know.
You sound like such a great stepmom. High five to you for being so caring, loving and motivated to have a bonded family.
She’s so lucky to have you there’s an app called Marco Polo we use to send video clips to family in other time zones. It’s free, easy to use and they can view them whenever they want. All you need is WiFi (in case you or she don’t have cell phone service, we have to drive about ten miles just to use our cell phones)
Keep doing what you’re doing. Try to have her dad and siblings participate as much as possible even just sending short videos to her every couple days saying good morning have a good day or good night sweet dreams. Maybe have 1 person do it every day or something so its kind of shared? Snail mail is awesome too. Kids really love that. Make cards or origami or a bracelet or whatever and mail it out
Text whenever you have free time. Even if she’s sleeping she will wake up to a beautiful text to remind her you’re always thinking of her. That’s the beauty of texting. Its there for when the person has a moment to read and respond. Don’t forget about email. Or even, the old fashioned way of sending letters. Sending pictures. Old fashioned maybe but it’s always a nice surprise to get something in the mail. It takes a bit to arrive but what a nice surprise.
You never know what kind of day they r having so random out the blue calls is a mint idea but defo text every day cos it could be the only thing that makes them smile for the rest of the day. X
Send cards and letters as well with pictures of you guys send her little things that remind her of her other home
Do your children who live in your home like to do any type of crafts? Send the same materials to your step daughter and have them do a craft together via FaceTime. That will definitely make her feel special.
Do you video chats that’s would be good for her!
she’s blessed to have u
My (step) daughter lives in Maryland. She was born in Arkansas, where we still live. We have an alarm set for 6:30pm everyday to FaceTime her. There are definitely days where we are busy and don’t get to it but I’d say we are consistent about it 5 out of 7 days of the week. She doesn’t always answer and if she does answer, she doesn’t always want to talk, but we try to at least call so she knows we are putting in the effort. it’s been nice since school has been out because she will randomly call us during the day. She’s more likely to talk then because she doesn’t have as many distractions!
Maybe do weekend FaceTime? Scheduled and her mom must ensure it happens.
You should write to her and send her little treats in the mail. That’s what my daughter’s grandparents on her dad side does. They live in Texas and we live in Pennsylvania. She absolutely loves receiving mail from them and sending stuff back.
It honestly sounds like y’all are doing your best, just keep doing just that! It’s all you can do when you’re put in tough situations. Maybe do little care/goodie packages here and there?!
Just text her daily to remind her you love and care even a simple hey honey hope uour day is going well. That alone goes a long way.
Nothing beats a good old fashioned letter. Write to her once a day/week and mail it to her. Yes it takes a while to turn up, but letters take time and they can be kept forever.
Just text or send her nice & long chats, photos, videos even if she doesn’t check on your messages right away. She will know the time & date of your messages & that you did try to communicate each time. Getting her into phone calls may not always be successful & you don’t have to always feel guilty when you’re not able to talk to her frequently. You just have to keep reminding her in your messages that you’re thinking of her.
I agree with everyone on sending cards and letters! Maybe even a book. Something she can treasure.
I would send her a text every night either letting her know what happened that day or a short message with lots of love so she can wake up/go to sleep knowing ur there for her and love her
Send her cards and letter. One day she will get them out and feel the love all over again
As someone that grew up the same as your daughter and now in my early 40s, the phrase, “I’m to busy” really gets on my nerves. Especially since it’s now being used on my babies. Family is to important and if you’re doing your best to make contact, you’re doing the right thing. She’ll understand as she gets older as long as you keep up the love.
Yea I hear you, going through something similar a lot of power and control from the other family ive been told by experts to leave it alone she will eventually come back yes I am fuming however I keep my foot in the door every now and then I send a random gift anything from pyjamas to a cool cd anything and at Christmas all her birthday i call her my little French pastry and I,ll put in the card that I will walk through hell for her (that is what I am doing now) I tell her that I love her to the moon and back i will never put her other family down to her as its simply not her fault thats our shit not hers so I wait for her to come back its been two years now and its not happening as fast as I would like i just don’t give up I have a couple of support people and a support group on line I use when I need to vent you are doing the right thing you have to go into your heart with this one keep your foot in the door and trust she will eventually come back stay strong sending golden light to you!
That’s just awsome!! You are a great mom!
Mayb do a monthly care package but your doing great
Set up an email account in her name and everytime you feel that way and are unable to call due to the time difference, send her an email. Or use her email like a diary and the family that lives with you sends bits about their day or week. Have the whole family do it. Or videos even. Send pictures and tidbits of her family’s life that she isn’t there for. DONT TELL HER ABOUT IT. On her 16th or 18th birthday. (To be determined between parents and her maturity) give her the email and password and let her see for herself.
Bare your heart out in the emails. If it sounds sappy send it.
But also tell her how you guys are feeling towards the situation and that you really are trying.
I send random texts of : just wanted you to know I’m thinking of you… we miss you TONS!!! Love you.
These texts do not require a response but still let my kids know that I’m always thinking about them.
I think you’re kinda stuck. She’s younger, busy, and in a very different time zone. Do what you can, that’s all you can do.
Care packages, cards, pictures