How to Stay Connected with Grandparents Who Live Far Away

grandpa 1205

Those who live far from their children’s grandparents know that maintaining a special connection from afar is difficult—but it’s not impossible. Here are ways to keep kids in touch with long-distance grandparents, for National Grandparents Day (September) or any other time of year.

Utilize Technology
Social media makes it easy to share updates, photos and videos. Teach your parents to use social media, if you haven’t already. Be sure to also include interactive, real-time conversations in your communication routine. Erin Endrelunas of Cortez Hill plans weekly video calls to connect her 2-year-old daughter with both sets of grandparents in Naples, FL.
“There are some milestones you can capture in photos or videos, but being able to say ‘I love you’ or have your toddler ‘show’ grandparents her toys and see their real-time reactions is something special,” says Endrelunas.
Not sure how to keep the conversation going in your video chat? Ask grandparents to read a picture book or let the kids give an art show. If younger children get bored and run off to play, point the camera toward them so grandparents can experience day-to-day sights while your conversation continues.

Negotiate Time Zones
It can be extra tricky to connect with loved ones when you live in different time zones. Make grandparents a list of convenient call times, noting naptimes and bedtimes—and convert it to their time zone. Ask them to do the same for you.

Call on Your Community
There will be times when technology just won’t cut it. On days when a grandparent’s absence will be especially difficult, enlist the help of a proxy.
“Grandparents Day at school was hard for my brother and me,” says Laura Hendricks of Pacific Beach, “but my mom always made sure we were not left out. A close family friend stepped in for these events.” Hendricks grew up feeling a wonderful connection to her British grandparents, despite long-distance challenges.

Frequent Favorite Photo Sites
Photo gifts are a creative way to keep memories fresh between visits. Use a site like Shutterfly to make a custom book with photos and stories about grandparents. Pinhole Press offers board books for younger children, which are both sturdy and slobber-proof. Other options include building custom puzzles and memory games—a clever way to reinforce grandparents’ special place in your family.

Visit When Able
There’s nothing like an actual visit. If you live far from family, why not start a travel fund? Visiting won’t feel so financially overwhelming if you plan ahead and set aside a small amount each month. Make the journey to see your child’s grandparents as often as you can, and invite them to reciprocate. Your lucky kids will be well traveled, and very well loved!

 


Anne Malinoski is a contributing writer and mother of two boys. She is happy to live near family again, after five years on the opposite coast.

 

 

Finding Snow in San Diego

Finding Snow in San Diego

When it comes to snow, we’ve got you covered. When snow is in the forecast, here is where you'll find it in or near San Diego County. Be sure to check websites for projected snowfall, weather condit . . .

Read more

How to Stay Connected with Grandparents Who Live Far Away

How to Stay Connected with Grandparents Who Live Far Away

Those who live far from their children’s grandparents know that maintaining a special connection from afar is difficult—but it’s not impossible. Here are ways to keep kids in touch with long-d . . .

Read more

Feeling down? Turn

Feeling down? Turn "the Blues" into Family Fun

Whether your family is transitioning from carefree holidays or navigating an unexpected worldwide pandemic,"winter blues" are a real thing -- and as we've learned, can come anytime of year. Don't let . . .

Read more

15 Ways to Celebrate Black History Month

15 Ways to Celebrate Black History Month

Black History Month (February) is often something that is recognized at school, but is your family doing anything to celebrate or discuss it at home? Literature, food, music and art are fabulous way . . .

Read more

14 Sweet Ideas for Valentine’s Day

14 Sweet Ideas for Valentine’s Day

Looking for new ways to make Valentine’s Day fun this year? Here are 14 ideas to help make this Valentine’s Day extra special! Make a Valentine’s Day Charcuterie BoardWhile a simple cheese . . .

Read more

Unplug and Connect!

Unplug and Connect!

Unplug and connect with 24 hours of family fun during the National Day of Unplugging! Photo courtesy of Andres Amador Celebrate the annual National Day of Unplugging, an event dedicated to family co . . .

Read more

San Diego Family Magazine Logo

Be Family Informed – Sign up for our Newsletters below!