Remember those fancy videophones on the old Jetsons cartoon shows? Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, this type of phone call is not only possible, it may even be free. Video chat programs like Skype allow you to talk face to face with your kids no matter where they are in the world using only a computer. It may sound complicated, but all you'll need to do is download a free software program, then switch on your Web cam to connect with your children. Most laptops come with a built-in web cam, or you can purchase one that plugs into your computer for less than $50. For a small fee, you can even use Skype to chat via your cell phone or even your TV.
These web chat programs serve as the perfect way to keep in touch with children who live across the country, or even across the globe. While the high cost of airfare can make in-person meetings a rare event, Skype makes you feel like you're in the same room. If your kids tend to be too busy to set up regular chat times, simply stay logged into your account and keep your computer on. Just like many instant messaging programs, Skype let's you know when your friends and family are online so you can initiate a quick chat.