News at Cardon Children's Medical Center  

Staying in touch

Mary Parra  

When I was just 10 years old, my family moved from upstate New York to Dallas. I still remember how hard it was to leave my best friend. We had met when we were three years old.

Through our younger years, we stayed in touch by writing letters. We were also allowed to make calls to each other on birthdays. But back then when long-distance phone calls were quite pricey, we were only allowed to talk for 10 minutes.

I pride myself on the fact that before the Internet, cell phones and social media, we stayed in touch “the old-fashioned way.” Through our teen years, college, and even when her husband’s job took her to Sweden for several years, we visited each other and kept in touch with letters. 

When was the last time you or your child wrote a letter to someone? It was my New Year’s resolution this year to send a card to someone once a month. While I didn’t do it every month, I was able to do it for several months, and I know my little surprises put a smile on my friends’ faces.

Technology makes it so easy and convenient to stay in touch with friends or family members, yet it is such a nice surprise to receive a hand-written note in the mail.

If you don’t like to write cards, or if your kids have a hard time with it, then yes, you should take advantage of modern technology to keep relationships flourishing with friends and relatives.

We have friends and relatives in northern Arizona, Texas and California. Since we cannot see them all the time, we have scheduled times to Skype with some of them.

My daughter is in seventh grade. This year, we decided to give her a cell phone for her birthday. She has a cousin her age who lives in another state.  The two text each other almost daily. The technology and that simple daily contact will make it easy for them to reconnect when we travel to see them at Christmas.

My daughter’s best friend does not have a cell phone. To help her remember to stay in touch, we schedule Skype chats on the calendar. We also have a standard time for all of my kids to Skype with grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins, which helps maintain these relationships as the kids grow.

If you’re not set on allowing your child to have a Facebook account (we’re not quite there yet), Instagram might be an option for you. While you or your child follow people, you cannot comment such as on Facebook.

Twitter is another good way for families to stay in touch. You can send out a quick tweet on something funny your child said or accomplished (like finally getting an ‘A’ in English after struggling all semester), or making a good play in a soccer or football game. 

Whatever your method, there is no time like the present to continue to stay in touch with family and friends. These days, social media helps me nurture my relationship with my very first BFF (best friend forever) who is still one of the most important persons in my life.

Cardon Children's Medical Center
1400 S. Dobson Road
Mesa, AZ 85202
(480) 412-KIDS (5437)
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