Long-Distance Grandparenting

Long Distance Grandparenting is not always easy, but if you far away grandparents can keep in touch regularly and frequently with your grandchildren, it will create a bond between you and make visits very special.

We live in a very mobile society these days. In earlier times multi-generational families lived under one roof or very close by. Children in those days could not have imagined living without Grandma and Grandpa as part of the family. Nowadays families are spread across continents and it is too easy for our long distance grandchildren to become strangers to us.

How can we keep in touch?

Phone, email, regular mail and, whenever possible,visits are all important ways to keep your family close.

Phone

First of all, explore your long-distance phone carrier options. You won't enjoy a rambling call with your small grandchildren if you are watching the clock and worrying about long-distance charges. There are plenty of plans these days which give you free calling anywhere in North America. Mine also gives me 1000 free minutes a month to the UK and several other countries. I know readers in some countries have to pay even for local calls, so keeping in touch by phone might not be such a good option for them.

If you do plan to keep in touch by phone, it is a good idea to have a set time every week for the phone call. This can be Granny and Granpa's special time. It is not always easy to have a phone conversation with a small child - sometimes you could read a story or even sing a song to them. You could even send them a copy of the same book so that they can look at the pictures while you read the story.

With school-age children you can have some fun - make a rule that each of you has to tell a riddle or joke on each call. Asking about school usually produces "Its all right", but asking about their friends, their sports activities, their favourite videos or music will often bring more of a response. Don't forget to tell them a little bit about what is happening in your life too.

Teenagers lives are so busy and tied up with their friends that they are more likely to feel restricted by a weekly call from Gran. If you have kept in close touch over the years they may be glad to have you as a non-judgemental person to turn to when they feel that their lives are falling apart. Just let them know that they can always call and you will listen, and that you will give advice only if they ask for it!

Other Ways to Keep in Touch

Keeping in Touch by Mail

Using Email

Visiting Grandchildren

Grammies Make the Extra Effort




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