Using Video Chat to Help Others

Video chat is useful in many ways beyond a social catch-up or the obvious business meeting. Because it eliminates the time and cost of transport while lowering any “disruption” an in-person visit might bring, video chat programs enable you to make a more frequent and greater impact on those you care about.

You may have already thought about ways you could help others by connecting remotely. Below are a few additional ideas. But first, if you’ve not yet got the hang of video chatting, here is a previous post on 3 easy steps to using FaceTime. Or if you prefer Zoom, you can get started in 5 minutes by following these steps.

How Can I Help?

Do you have a niece, nephew or grandchild who would enjoy a cooking lesson? You could walk them through how you make your famous chocolate chip cookies. Or if you want to take on a bit more and your student chef is mature enough, you could organize ahead so that they have available ingredients needed to prepare dinner for their household by following your steps. Much easier than a recorded online video in order for them to follow your instructions and see your example while also being able to have the “head chef” (you) check their progress. Moreover spending time with you in this way will be an experience they will long remember.

Speaking of students… is there a subject you’re strong in that could help out a pupil? Being available for them to ask questions and check progress can be invaluable for both the student and the busy parent. Many children benefit from having an “accountability partner” so they feel supported should they get stuck or simply to get them started on their tasks. Even if you’re stumped by “new Math”, they may profit from you supporting them to lay out the work to be done, helping them decide the order and time to devote to each piece of work and checking in with them at key stages.

For years people have played chess by phone or even snail mail. Why not try playing a card or board game over video chat? This can be an especially welcome treat for anyone who is housebound, whether due to ill health or foul weather. You’ll need to ensure you each have the same board game to hand and move both your own and their game pieces with each turn. Or choose a card game which allows you to each draw from your own deck. If you prefer jigsaw puzzles, having a companion to chat with makes it extra fun whether you’re working on the same version or different ones.

Whatever makes sense for you, planning an activity over video chat can take the pressure off both parties in thinking up new conversation topics and feeling like you’re putting tasks on hold to have a conversation. You will both likely find it more rewarding and keen to schedule the next session soon.

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