Grandparents hold a special place in our childhood as the people we can count on to keep us safe, full of snacks and have a good time with when mom and dad are being a drag.
When I was growing up we didn't have email, FaceTime and Skype to keep us connected to the older generation. It's amazing how we still were able to form and maintain a bond even though distance separated us.
Now that all my grandparents are gone, I find myself wondering what it would be like to have their wisdom and years of experience.
While there are a number of reasons why grandparents may not have close relationships with family members, it's important we take a hard look at what we are doing to influence the relationship with our kids and our parents.
Inviting grandparents to come to our kids sporting event or school performance is not fostering a connection, it is simply observation.
I think about the long drives to take me to visit my grandparents, showing me how to make long distance phone calls and teaching me about how to write letters and put them in the mailbox. Without my parents my relationship with my grandparents wouldn't have been what it was.
Today, we have all the tools and far less excuses to stay connected, even if you aren't in the same city.
Here are some tips to help your kids stay connected to their grandparents:
1. Use Skype or FaceTime
This is something we have been doing from the day my daughter was born (literally called my mom through FaceTime in the hospital). While it may not be the real thing, you can still watch each other and be involved in important moments of our daily lives. Now, my daughter knows how to call through FaceTime every time she wants to see her grandparents.
2. Read Bedtime Stories
Grandparents can record themselves reading a favorite bedtime story. Parents can then show the video to their kids as they follow along with the same book. If this messes with your bedtime routine, you can try this story time at any other point during the day.
3. Send Snail Mail
Not only will your kids get to send and receive something special from their grandparents, it's a great way to teach them how the post office works. Sending a handwritten letter, drawing and picture will mean the world to their grandparents too!
4. Display photos
Keep pictures of Grandma and Grandpa throughout your home, so that their faces remain familiar. A digital picture frame is a great way to show off a variety of image if you're tight for space. Including old photos will also generate a discussion about their grandparents lives when they were young.
5. Play games together
Thanks to the internet and tablets, you can play games together even if you aren't in the same room. Online games like cards, crosswords and chess can be done at a distance and can generate a fun time for grandkids and grandparents to share.
How do you keep your family connected?
Source: Healthy Women