Tips for Parents
National Sibling Day is April 10. Here are some ways for college students and their siblings to stay connected:
- A "My Life" Photo Shoot — with a Special Guest! Your college student can go on a "photo shoot" of her life at school, incorporating a certain stuffed animal or other small item into each picture. Then, when she sends them via a photo-sharing site (i.e. Snapfish, Kodak Gallery), her sibling can look at each photo, trying to find the small item. And the sibling at home can do the same for her sibling at college!
- The Tune Share. Siblings can share good music from their iPods with one another by swapping playlists. They'll stay connected and learn more about one another's developing musical tastes.
- The Great Postcard Pass. Since it's great fun to get "real" mail, encourage siblings to share wacky postcards with one another, from local sites to ones that they make on their own. You can give each sibling a bunch of postcard stamps to help facilitate this process.
- Blog a Bunch. Siblings can swap stories through an online journal blog.
- The Same Thing. Siblings can get two notebooks, pens or folders that are exactly the same and share them. That way, they can think of one another using the same notebook in class, even if many miles separate them.
- Plan-a-Date. Encourage the younger sibling to plan a special day to share with his college sibling this summer. It might be going to a water park, taking a hike, visiting a friend or whatever. This will give them both something to look forward to!
- Continuous Stories or Drawings. One sibling can start a story online and then email it to her sibling to add her own twist. This can go back and forth for a long time and will result in something mighty interesting! Or siblings can swap an ongoing drawing via regular mail.
- Book It. Siblings can read the same book in their respective places so they can then compare notes. Or, an older sibling can read favorite kid's books on tape so younger siblings at home can enjoy bedtime stories from afar.
- Monk-E-Mail. They can send goofy monkey emails for free through www.careerbuilder.com/ monk-e-mail/. It's a hoot!
- Back & Forth. A very fun connection is finding a crazy item, like a paper mache head or a wacky knick-knack, which siblings can stealthily swap with one another when they least expect it. For instance, it might end up in a visiting sibling's suitcase one time while another instance may see it left in a glove compartment or sent through the mail.
- Handprint Hellos. Encourage siblings still at home to trace their hands monthly and write one thing they did that month in each finger space. Then it can be sent to the college sibling to keep him up on activities at home. Your college student may want to return the favor, too!
Staying connected doesn't have to be hard and it's vitally important for siblings to still feel like a part of one another's lives. Hopefully some of these ideas will spark that connection!
Prepared for our institution by PaperClip Communications, www.paper-clip.com.
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