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4 tips for staying connected, from migrants who live far from family

Phone calls

Video communication can be too draining and may make feelings of separation more intense. Written communication can feel too impersonal and may not be accessible to people with visual impairments.

Migrant families rely on phone calls for almost all of their communication as calls are intimate and convey emotions without the constant visual reminders of separation.

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4 tips for staying connected, from migrants who live far from family

4 tips for staying connected, from migrants who live far from family

http://theconversation.com/4-tips-for-staying-connected-during-coronavirus-from-migrants-who-live-far-from-family-134362

theconversation.com

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Key Ideas

Keeping close relationships

Forced separation, while new to most, is a fact of life for the world’s migrants. Many continue close ties with relatives, despite years or decades of physical distance.

Phone calls

Video communication can be too draining and may make feelings of separation more intense. Written communication can feel too impersonal and may not be accessible to people with visual impairments.

Migrant families rely on phone calls for almost all of their communication as calls are intimate and convey emotions without the constant visual reminders of separation.

Communicate to connect

Migrants greet something like this: "I send greetings to you to my grandchildren, to my daughter-in-law, and to all those who surround you."

Such elaborated greetings articulate family relationships that stretch across space. They continually create and re-create connections despite the distance.

Manage conflict carefully

Migrant families avoid explicit disagreement and signal concerns in subtle ways. 

For instance, if they lack money, they may relate a story of their father's visit to the doctor and include a quote from him lamenting that he cannot afford his new prescription.

Celebrate together

Migrant families often reminisce about times when they lived together, recalling humorous incidents or past mishaps that lead to shared laughter.

Sharing these memories not only reflects their past together but also encourages them to imagine what it might be like to live together again.

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If you have another adult home with you, consider a split schedule: At the beginning of each day, decide who will be the 'on point' parent. That person will work at the dining room table, feed the kids and suggest activities, while the other parent works in a different room.

One parent can also work before the children are awake, then you can stagger work times during the day, and the other parent can work when the children are in bed.

Be Up Front With Your Boss

Before you make adjustments to your work schedule in order to watch your children, talk to your boss or HR.

Let them know that your transition to home also means being responsible for your children. Create a schedule that you can share with your boss and assure them of your commitment to maintaining the level of excellence they expect.

If you clearly communicate your needs, you will decrease the level of stress and also open the door for coworkers to follow suit.

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In order to better handle the current situation, experts recommend going out for walks or exercise at off-hours and alone, if possible.

If you really want to spend time with your friend or neighbor, just make sure to keep the 6 feet apart rule and everything should be alright. Remember the further away, the better.

The exception to the rule

Everybody knows or, at least, should know by now the rule of the 6 feet apart. This distance is recommended in the current period, in order to slow down the spread of the virus. 

However, one exception to these rules refers to public gatherings, which usually take place in parks or on beaches: gatherings that imply more than ten people are overall to be avoided, even if the recommended distance can be kept.

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