Long Distance Grandparents – How Baby Boomers Cope with Separation
Long distance grandparents are faced with finding ways to maintain a close and warm relationship with grandchildren who live far away. As painful as it may be, kids grow up and leave home, beginning lives and raising families of their own, often far from where they grew up. So…congratulations if you’ve survived empty nest! Fortunately, there are many unique and simple ways to stay in touch with your grandkids and, as many grandparents already know, they really can help to bridge the gap across the miles. Whether your grandchildren have moved halfway across the world or just a few hours away, it’s quite possible to stay involved in their lives
Keeping the lines of communication open any way you can is job #1!
The simplest and most typical way is over the phone, of course, and even younger children in today’s world have cell phones. The great thing about that is you can call them when they’re in the car being driven home from dance class, on their way to an important academic event, or any time you just feel like picking up the phone. The same is true for them: they can press a button and dial you whenever they feel like it and talk to Grammy. Skype is a must! Spontaneity can be a rare commodity in a relationship with grandchildren who live far away, so it’s nice to get it whenever you can….even online! Don’t worry, it may feel a bit awkward at first, but the kids are 100% comfortable and natural in this environment!
Technology makes it easy to stay in touch with your grandchildren! Staying current with the same tools your grandchildren are using will make you far cooler in their eyes! With updated privacy options, forums like Facebook, YouTube, and various other social media networks provide you a glimpse into what your grandkids’ world is all about. Take time to research them and learn what they have to offer. Learn how to use some of the same apps your grandkids use and join the party! Like the next best thing to being there, you can talk, laugh, share stories and see each other whenever you like in real time. No long distance grandparents should be without one!
Today’s women fifty and beyond live active lives! Visiting your grandchildren can be a regular occurrance, an occasional event, or a real travel adventure. As an active mid-life baby boomer woman you may be heavily involved with your career or your other children, and travel may not be easy for you. Shop the travel sites for bargains on airline, train or bus travel. Consider a family vacation somewhere in between where you live, and let your grandkids help you research and plan the trip. Teenagers are always full of great ideas for vacation travel, and it can provide countless opportunites to bond and share those often very busy and moody teens. They have a sneaky way of teaching grandarents how to have fun – after fifty and beyond!
Grandchildren – You’ve Got Mail!
One of the best ways of sending your love to grandchildren who live far away is the most old-fashioned. The US Mail brings you right to their door in a personal way…who doesn’t love to get mail? Make it a regular weekly commitment to send a card or a short note; clip a funny cartoon from the newspaper and slip it into an envelope with a brief note. You can find inexpensive and thoughtful gifts for grandchildren – particularly books – that are easy to ship, and will surprise and delight them.
Call, write, get online and visit. Learning how to maintain a relationship with grandchildren who live far away is never the same as having them right there with you, but it can be a wonderful bonding experience. You may be surprised how close you become – particularly with the older ones. As a grandparent, you’re in the enviable position of being able to listen and be supportive, providing unconditional love and an open mind.