A long distance relationship isn’t limited to just romantic partners. In an era where children are moving out in their teenage years to establish their own footprint in the world, it has become even more important to hold on to these relationships ‘back home’.

Many believe that modern-day technology has led people to lead isolated lives. But, if utilized creatively, technology can become a tool to re-connect with people who matter the most.

Get the grandparents involved
In a society where both parents are working grandparents can step in and play a larger role in the lives of children. They aren’t the parents, which means they can prove to be better listeners to the children. The children can start bonding with their grandparents by teaching them how to maneuver around social networking sites and set up their Skype accounts. Children can also make home videos and send those across to their grandparents as birthday or anniversary gifts.

Create a blog
When living away from family, you often miss out on important events in each other’s lives. This can easily be remedied by using modern technology. One solution would be to start a blog and update it with pictures, stories and videos. This will ensure they can look into your life whenever they have the time and yet not miss out on anything important. It will also save you the effort of repeatedly updating everyone. To make things more interesting, invite your family members and friends to write a guest blog once a week. If you are concerned about your privacy, change the blog settings to ensure only approved members can view your posts. If you don’t like blogging, try sending a weekly or monthly newsletter to a mailing list of your closest friends and family.

Get gaming
Gaming is often seen as a closet hobby which youngsters like to indulge in away from their families. It wouldn’t be a bad idea for family members to sign up for the game and play against each other online. In case of more serious team games available online, the family members can actually play as a competitive unit. This may instill more confidence in the teenagers to share other aspects of their lives with family members, whether they live at home or in another city.

Hangout online
A Google Plus profile can help you start chat hangouts with anyone on your mailing list and share everything from photos to text with a group. The video feature can help you connect with up to 10 different video screens at a time. These Google Hangouts are a great option for family get-togethers and dinners.

Have virtual vacations
One creative way of establishing family ties among relatives that do not live together is by having a fixed ritual or a tradition. Have a family get-together or a potluck for every festival, alternating between different relatives’ homes so that everyone gets a chance to host and to be a guest. Plan a family vacation at a place that is equidistant for everyone. Family members who cannot attend can be part of the gathering as ‘virtual guests’ via their smart phones and webcams.