Long-Distance Grandparents: How to Stay Connected with Your Grandkids

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When everyone was younger, it was a bit easier to keep in touch. Now that grandparents are getting older as well as the kids, the times spent together are few and far between. Here are some suggestions for grandparenting long-distance style.

Don’t resign yourself to being out of your grandchildren’s lives because they don’t live close anymore. Travel and age may restrict you from visiting once or twice a year, but the rest of the time doesn’t have to be idle. Here are some suggestions for staying connected even when you are not there in person.

Make a phone call – If it’s one thing that kids like is to talk on the telephone. Invest in a family plan that allows you to call them often but for less money. When they are little, call them once a week. Ask about their day and what is going on in their lives. Don’t forget to make birthday and holiday calls.

Use video calls – Skype is a popular way to make video calls free of charge. All you need is a webcam on your computer and speakers if you don’t have ones built in. You can call your grandchildren to see their faces while you catch up on life. Over the course of a year, a lot can change. If they need help with something, video calls allow you to demonstrate instead of just telling them over the regular landline. The entire family can spend time together on a video call.

Send snail mail – Everyone likes to get mail, especially when they are away from home. When grandkids go to college, use that time to send letters and bond anew with them. Send birthday cards, care packages, special treats and simply a line or two to your grandchildren to let them know you care. Everyone can work on their writing skills, and letters are the way to do it.

Use social networking – Set up a family Facebook page. Here you can post pictures to share and also drop a quick line about what is going on in your life. You can even “instant message” with your grandkids using Facebook. This is a great way to let the family know about significant developments such as a hospitalization or a baby being born. It’s fast, free and easy.

Play games – This is another advantage of Facebook. Stay close by playing online games with your grandkids. Facebook offers dozens of games that you can play to share special moments. You can also download game apps to play together using your smartphone or iPad.

Are you looking for a way to stay connected with your family, especially your grandchildren? Try using the suggestions above. Don’t shy away from technology. It will become your best friend when keeping in touch long-distance.