When Visiting Grandkids Can't be Done -- Use the Technology

By: Jody Smith

You want to have a presence in your grandchildren's life but due to reasons beyond your control, perhaps it's not possible for it to be a physical presence. Plenty of families are spread out across the country, even across the globe. But grandparents of beloved grandkids can find a way around the miles of separation.

There are lots of ways to stay in touch with the grandchildren. Distance doesn't have to matter when you're connected to grandchildren you love.

Technology is the friend of grandparents and grandkids who live apart. Pick and choose among the possibilities, or do them all.

Facebook may be the first thing that comes to mind. If your grandbabies are too young for Facebook their parents are not. If they aren't already on Facebook, they may be willing to start an account for the express purpose of family contact between you and your grandbabies.You will be able to post photos, and tell them about your day's events. You can ask about theirs. If the grandchildren are old enough, you can have conversations on Facebook that will help cement your relationship and a sense of closeness. Comment on their photos or tell them how great they are. Facebook can be a real friend to extended families that are separated by distance.

If you've never heard of Skype, you might want to look into it. Skype is a free video-conferencing piece of technology that allows you to see and talk with your grandchildren ... and their parents too if you're so inclined. They can see you, see your home perhaps for the first time if they have not visited. If they have been to visit you in the past, they will see the place that stirs memories of time with you. There is no long distance fee for Skype.

You can send your grandchildren emails and if they are old enough, they can email you back. If they're too young for this, and indeed are too young to read emails, Mom or Dad can read them aloud. You might want to try instant messaging. It's like email only in real time. You are typing back and forth together, rather than one of you sending a message that may or may not get read or answered till a later date.

Send pictures online, through email, or via safe websites that are available for this purpose. Maybe you'd like to play an online game with your grandkids. Usually you'll be able to chat while playing your game together.

Whatever methods you decide to employ to stay close to your grandchildren, do it with gusto and with regularity. You think these kids are the greatest kids in the world, and what a pleasure it is to be able to tell them so.

Jody Smith is a freelance writer for EmpowHER.com.

Sources:

Staying In Touch With Long Distance Grandkids

http://www.grandparentworld.com/long-distance-grandparents

Long Distance Grandparenting: How to Keep in Touch

http://www.parentingweekly.com/grandparents/long_distance.htm

Long-Distance Bonding With Grandkids

http://family.go.com/parenting/pkg-toddler/article-800796-long--distance-bonding-with-grandkids-t/

Related Links:

Four Words to Avoid a Lot of Caregiving Stress

http://www.empowher.com/emotional-health/content/four-words-avoid-lot-caregiving-stress

Resources for Family Caregivers

http://www.empowher.com/wellness/content/resources-family-caregivers

Baby Boomers Set Sights On Fitness

http://www.empowher.com/fitness/content/baby-boomers-set-sights-fitness

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