For a lot of people, the last year and a half has been a real challenge when it comes to maintaining relationships. With a devastating public health situation, where so much was unknown for quite some time, we needed to stay separate to stay safe. Today, some places still have quarantine protocols in place.
With this type of situation, it’s even tougher to be a good grandparent when your grandchildren are many miles away – but it can be done. Long-distance grand-parenting takes some special attention and creativity if it is to result in the kind of close feelings that transcend miles on the map. Here are some distance-solving tips for you that will help.
Make the most of the mail. It’s fine if the letters are brief, as long as they are frequent. While you are waiting for food at a restaurant, write a note on the paper place mat and send it, or clippings of cartoons that make your grandchild smile. Use colorful stickers and stamps, and include a self-addressed, stamped envelope if it will speed a response. Regular “snail” mail may be old-fashioned, but there is something special about finding a letter in the mailbox.
E-mail and texting have quickly become wonderful ways to maintain a day-to-day relationship. A quick message every morning, or one that has arrived by the time your grandchild returns home from school, makes a positive impact. They will look forward to them. You are never too old to learn, and texting quick messages or sending e-cards to your grandchildren creates a vital connection. As the Baby Boomer generation actively embraces grandparenthood, they also have the computer skills to creatively keep contact with grandchildren geographically far away.
Video conferencing is terrific, and getting easier by the day. So much can now be done via video! Record a favorite children’s story to be played at bedtime, or a one-of-a-kind message filled with love and your special self-esteem building assurances. These days, you can even read the bedtime story directly to your grandchildren via video chats!
The point is, “be there” for your grandchildren, even if you can’t be there with them. Maintain the relationships. Celebrate their successes, while you create special days just for them. Close the distance between you and make it nonexistent. You will never regret it, and they will love you for it – forever.