How to Keep in Touch With Cousins

Families grow. Children become adults who have families of their own and some of those families move away from their parents and siblings. It’s not uncommon to live a significant distance from your parents, aunts and uncles and their children. While some families are fortunate enough to remain in close distance, jobs, marriages, divorces and other life circumstances can cause separation in families, making it easy to lose touch with your cousins -- even if you grew up in the same area and feel more like siblings than cousins. With just a little effort, you can reconnect with your cousins and stay in touch so you can keep those family ties intact.

Connect with your cousins by talking. Talking is a great way to keep in touch with cousins. In a world where emails and text messages seem more the norm than old-fashioned letters and phone calls, it might amaze you how easy it is to stay connected with your cousins by scheduling phone calls or video chats 1. Face-to-face conversation no longer requires being in the same room. For example, if you have digital media devices, you can have conversations at your computers while looking at each other. If you have phone apps, you can have face-to-face phone conversations.

Write down your thoughts and stay connected with the written word. Pen and paper isn’t as common as an email or text message, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less effective when it comes to keeping in touch with your cousins. Try writing a handwritten letter and mailing it the old-fashioned way – at the post office – on a piece of personalized stationery. If that’s not your thing, you and your cousin can become pen pals through emails or even text messages. It’s simple, fast and a great way to stay connected 1.

Connect with your cousins through social media sites. Create online profiles with the same social media sites as your cousins -- and use the sites to stay in contact. Social media makes it easy to message privately, post publicly, chat instantly, show photographs and keep your cousins in the loop with what’s going on with your family, while seeing what’s going on with their families at the same time.

Plan a family reunion. You can do this annually, every other year, every five years, every week or anytime you want, depending on your schedules, your financial situations and your proximity to one another. If you and your cousins live in the same area, plan a family reunion for cousins once a month or so. If you are all spread out across the country, plan one each summer at a predetermined location on a predetermined date and make plans for everyone to come out for a weekend or week of fun. The added bonus here is that you can connect not only with your cousins at a reunion, but also with your grandparents, parents, siblings and your nieces and nephews as well.