Keeping a friendship going long distance

Friends are held dear to our hearts, but when you or one of your friends have to move, keeping that friendship strong can sometimes be hard. The distance can make the friendship harder to maintain, but it doesn't have to mean that friends are lost.

At any age having a friend move away can be hard. But there are some things that you can do to ensure that you don't lose friends because of distance.

Here are some ideas that will help you to maintain a friendship, or help your child to. These can be used for friends that are still close as well, they are great relationship builders and memory makers.

Children's long distance friends

 Letters in the mail are fun at any age, and children will never be disappointed by seeing their name on an envelope. Having your child write letters with long distance friends gives them the chance to keep in touch and feel the excitement of letters. For children that cannot write yet, drawing pictures has the same excitement.
 With your letters include pictures. Children should be encouraged to draw pictures of memories with that friend and things that they miss. Also pictures of the friends in the past as well as current pictures to show them the changes that are going on in their absence.
 Let them talk on the phone. This gives them a chance to catch up on more than can be put in a letter. It also is exciting for kids to get phone calls. And hearing their friend's voice can help them to remember that it is a person on the other side of the letters they receive.
 Plan family vacations that allow a stop by a friend's house. Whether you vacation with a long distance friend or simply make a short visit on your way elsewhere, this can mean a lot to a child. No matter how far away their friend moved, this makes it so a visit isn't completely inconvenient.

Grown-up children's (in a cruel world they are known as adults) long distance friends

 All of those that work for smaller children also work for big children. Just because you pay your own bills a usually dread the mailbox doesn't mean that you don't like letters for friends.
 Technology has made friendships, near and far, a lot easier. Email, instant messaging, and blogging have made communication instant. This makes friendships a lot closer, even if there are far away. It also helps friends be up-to-date, the information can be received the instant it is sent.
 Don't ever underestimate the power of remembrance. A birthday card or an anniversary phone call just to say that you haven't forgotten them can mean a lot. When you remember important dates and events in a friend's life it can help keep the relationship strong.
 Be a good listener. This might sound a little off, but if you are a good listener then your friends, near and far, will always want to talk to you. If you care enough to take the time to listen to them, then you are a friend worth making an effort to keep.
 If you think of something that you want to share with your friend and you don't have time to let them know right away, write it down. This helps you to remember important details that should be shared between friends. Then at your next convenience you can take the time to drop them a line or give them a call, and you will be able to remember all of the things you wanted to tell them.

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