Mama Mia: Young ones share the love cross the miles |

Mama Mia: Young ones share the love cross the miles

jMama Mia! I have been living here in Tahoe for the last 15 years among my husband’s friends and family. He was born and raised here. Most of my friends and family live out of the area, including the godparents of both of my boys (ages 3 and 5 years). How do I get my boys to “share the love” with their distant relations?

With kids this young it can be tough to have them really connect with friends and family who may not be in their faces as much as the in-laws. And it is that connection you need, to get them to feel the love, before they are comfortable sharing it. However, send a sweet note with pics of those cuties to gram and gramps in Utah. It will make them feel loved whether little Johnny made the card or not.

Since the economy has taken a digger and the airlines are charging for every single piece of luggage, a trip to visit out-of-town loved ones may just be too spendy. Let’s hope you visited in the boys’ lifetime, so when you flash a picture of those folks in front of your 5-year-old he has a vague idea of who they are. The 2-year-old will have some recognition, too, if your last visit was more recent.

Either way, collect photos of the grandparents, godparents, etc. and put a little “Far Away Friends and Family” album together. Whenever they call or send something in the mail, grab the album and say “this is from so and so” and show the picture. This helps make Aunt Junie more concrete. Try to hit on something special the boys did with Aunt Junie; i.e., remember the time Aunt Junie took you to the zoo and the monkey stole your lollipop? It will help trigger thoughts and produce mental images, thus stimulating emotion.

While the emotions are flowing, grab the glitter glue and crazy scissors and make a thank you card for that something in the mail, a happy valentine, or whatever. If the occasion is farther down the calendar, save the card and send it when it’s appropriate. Or use your album to stimulate their memory whenever you need an impromptu card or gift. It’s important to strike while the iron is hot!

They are young enough that a card from you with their own signatures is usually just fine for the distant familia. These ages are crafty and love to make stuff. Keep crafts age appropriate and have their interests in mind. Stickers are easy and every kid at every age loves ’em! Visit ” you can print stickers featuring their photos, which are really cool. You can also have them dictate their sentiments. Make keeping in touch fun and everyone will be feeling the love. Soon enough the boys will be asking to move to gram’s house when your rules kick in. Then you’ll know your efforts have paid off!

” If you have a parenting puzzler for Mama Mia at the KidZone Museum in Truckee e-mail or call 587-KIDS.

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