“It takes a village to raise a child” is a proverb to remind families that it takes a community of people to help children grow and experience a loving safe environment. Susan Day is an author, educator and grandmother and has a unique book club. Astro’s Adventures Book Club encourages grandparents to share in the wonder of their grandchildren and Susan provides following tips…
Being a grandparent can be one of the best things in life. There is nothing like it. You get to see your children grow and change, and then face the challenges and joys of raising their own families.
Most grandparents are lucky to see their grandchildren on a regular basis. Some, however, live many hours away, and this can make creating precious memories difficult.
No grandparent wants to be forgotten. They want to have a positive impact on the life of their grandchildren in so many ways. It can be difficult not being close by, however, there are many things you can do to reach out and connect with your grandkids.
If you are a long distance grandparent, here are 5 things you can do to have a positive impact on the lives of your grandchildren.
1. Create memories that will last
When you do get the chance to see your grandchildren create long-lasting memories with them. Don’t spend time watching television or just hanging around in the kitchen.
Instead, take the initiative and take them for walk to the park or along the beach. Ask them questions about what they love to do, and who their friends are. Point out interesting things that you can see happening around you. Share your own memories, your fears and the things you loved.
Use your time wisely. Sometimes the most powerful memories can be created in just a few minutes.
2. Skype and face-time video calling
Modern technology means that we are all only a face-time call away. Using apps like Skype or What’s App, you can talk to and see your grandchildren. Now, this does take a little getting used to, and works with older children as opposed to babies and toddlers.
Nonetheless, you can use these times to read stories, and share funny anecdotes. If you are not good at recalling them quickly, starting making notes about what you want to talk about. Keep a pile of books at the ready to read and share. When you see them again, you can always give them the books as a special gift.
You can share photographs, old and new, using this technology and sing songs together. Face-time video chats are almost like being there.
3. Send care packages with photos
Once a month put a care package together and send it. Make sure you include a card especially from you that details what is in the package. You don’t have to purchase expensive gifts. You could include a stone from your garden or a dried flower. You might pop in some photos, books or stories you have written.
Who doesn’t like getting a package in the mail? Your grandchildren will love receiving interesting surprises from you on a regular basis. You will be amazed how personal these can be, and how significant they are in strengthening the bond you have with your grandchildren.
4. Visit as often as possible
This might sound obvious, but traveling as you age is difficult. Therefore make the effort to visit them as often as possible. If going during the vacation breaks is crowded and congested, try to make a special time at another time of the year.
When you do visit don’t complain or be a burden. Plan one-on-one activities where you can create memories and build that connection with your grandkids.
5. Be proactive and make the first move
Many grandparents make the mistake of thinking that their children should visit them or at least initiate contact. They forget that people are so much busier today than we were. Children are expected to go to school, and then do a whole host of after-school activities all of which parents are responsible for.
Rather than sitting back and waiting, make the first move. Ring, video call and send packages on a regular basis. Make sure your presence is felt in a gentle, loving way.
Offer to help out when you can, and remember that planning is the key to building a strong relationship with your grandkids from a distance.
About Susan Day
Susan Day is a passionate author, educator and, a grandmother. She wants to empower all grandparents to build meaningful relationships with their grandchildren. Discover here the Top 10 Things Happy Grandparents Never Regret Doing.
Susan lives in country Australia with four dogs, three bossy cats, two rescue guinea pigs, and an errant kangaroo.