Whether you have a small family or large one, you likely have fond memories of playing with your cousins at grandma's house in the summer or visiting each other's homes during the holidays. As you grow into adults with your own lives, it can be hard to keep in touch with the cousins you were once so close to. It doesn't have to be that way. Although staying in touch takes effort from all parties, you can have a close bond with your cousins whether they live in the next town or across the country.
1. Keep in Contact
Thanks to social media and technology, it is easier than ever to stay in touch with family that live far away. Take advantage of social media to keep up with your cousins. Comment on each other's statuses and pictures. Use video messaging to see your cousins as you chat with them, allowing them to give you a tour of your new house or show off their kid's newest dance moves.
2. Visit Your Cousins
Make an effort to see your cousins at least once a year if possible. This might be at an annual family reunion or at a special event. Your cousins will appreciate that you show up for big moments, such as a wedding or a high school graduation. If no reunion or special events are planned this year, go over schedules for next year with your cousins to work out a time when you can all get together for a visit. Perhaps you could visit a new city together, spending time seeing the sights and trying new activities.
3. Emphasize Family Traditions
Family traditions can keep your bond strong with cousins and other extended family. Continue these traditions even if the person who originated them is gone or unavailable. For example, If your family traditionally gathered at grandma's to trim the tree but she has passed, you could host the Christmas gathering and continue the tradition at your home. You could also start a new tradition with your cousins, such as an annual trip or watching a holiday classic on Christmas Eve.
4. Send Love and Support
When you can't be there for a special moment in your cousins' lives, send your support through the mail. You can order a bouquet of flowers for your cousin's first speaking role in a stage play, send a mom-to-be a care package if you can't attend her baby shower or mail humorous cards for birthdays. Your cousins will feel loved and supported by you no matter how far away, and may even reciprocate when you have major events that they can't attend.
- Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images