Looking for ways to connect with other kids remotely as a caring friend
August 29, 2014 3:25 PM   Subscribe

My friend just passed away due to heart attack, leaving 7 years old twins with their Dad. We have a lot of caring friends who want to help their family. The family have plenty of money, toys, dress, ect. So we are looking for ways to love them. We all live in different parts of America.

I am thinking of interacting with them to encourage them to read and write. Is there cell phone APPs and ways that we can recommend books to them, they share what they have read, we buy the books that they wish to have... They can also post their writing, drawing for us to interact with. Our kids can share their favorite books to each other, so that a group of kids can bond. I know it will be hard to keep this going. But does anyone has suggestions, or success stories? Can you share with me?
posted by akomom to Human Relations (5 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I would think about writing a series of letters for the kids on their birthday or anniversary of mom's death or mom's birthday or something that reflect upon the following: 1) what mom was like at that age (if any of you are childhood friends, if not, might be worth asking some people about this via Facebook or something) and 2) what you think that mom would want for them at this age, and especially if you can reference a conversation ("When MY KID was 11 X happened, and your mom said Y"). Maybe you can do this via a video for earlier ages?

Or a simplier version might be to collect lots of good stories about mom - maybe via video - and roughly categorize them by age. Like it'd be great if you could make a 21+ or 30+ age one that is a little bit more "adult."

I'd also suggest making it very clear to husband that you all are going to step in when needed - if girls, for puberty or something.

Overall, be as constant as you can. I haven't lost a parent, but I can imagine that these sort of thing may help.

Hugs to you and your friends.
posted by k8t at 4:02 PM on August 29, 2014 [3 favorites]

Book club, organized in advance for a year? While everyone has the goodwill now, buy the sets of books and stories, package them up with "open on March 1, 2015" etc dates and put stamped reply postcards in them to round robin to other kids, so that all the parents and kids need to do is open the box in the cupboard, pull out the envelope and find the book etc and get mail.

Get all the families involved in a project in honor of their mom - fundraising for a school or a scholarship etc. something that can be done collectively and low key, so as the girls grow up they can see that people remember their mom and make the world kinder in her memory?
posted by viggorlijah at 6:45 PM on August 29, 2014 [1 favorite]

The best thing that you can offer a child is a happy, healthy parent. Their dad is suddenly a single father. Ask him what is needed. If you have a strong connection with their father then you will have a stronger connection to them. He is the gate-keeper.

I would ask him if they have iPads. If so, would he be comfortable with them having weekly facetime chats? My girls stay connected with long distance relatives by talking on the phone while playing a multiplayer online game like Club Penguin, with the relatives. They also love to get mail.
posted by myselfasme at 5:51 AM on August 30, 2014 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Hi, All,
The book club through mail is a good idea. Writing letters are also nice. Especially if our group of friends can spread out our mailing activity so that the twins keep getting things in the mail. Thanks all who replied!
I found this website for kids to read together that seems to be what I am looking for. But it is website only.
posted by akomom at 7:34 AM on August 30, 2014

I sort of think, especially for kids, it's probably hard to experience love you can't see or feel, or to bond with people outside of face-to-face interaction. n=1, but I'm pretty sure I had a pen pal when I was six. I do not remember having any feelings about that pen pal whatsoever, and my memory (of text on a page) is infinitely paler than the ones I have of playing tag or biking or catching frogs with cousins and acquaintances met even infrequently / over summer holidays. What about taking turns visiting the family (or inviting them to visit) over long weekends?
posted by cotton dress sock at 1:27 PM on August 30, 2014

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