Let's face it. Not every parent has the technical savvy required to keep up with video chat or social networking programs. If you'd prefer a more traditional way to keep in touch, the old-fashioned phone call might just be the perfect solution. Rather than playing phone tag or getting frustrated when your kids don't call you often enough, suggest a weekly phone call during a time that's convenient for both of you. This type of arrangement helps to maintain clear expectations for both parents and kids, and takes the pressure off as to how often kids should keep in touch. It's also a reasonable compromise for children who claim they're simply too busy to call. Promise your kids that if they keep up this one weekly call, you won't nag them if they fail to call you during other times.
If you're on a fixed income, don't let long distance charges keep you from staying in touch with your kids. Companies like Assurance Wireless provide up to 250 minutes of free long distance to qualified applicants, which generally includes anyone who receives Medicaid, SSI or other low-income benefits.