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.

 

 

Celebrate Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month

Celebrate the unique culture and contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) throughout the month of May and all year long! Our list of family-friendly AAPI Heritage Month events i . . .

Read more

Star Wars Day Party Tips

Star Wars Day Party Tips

Whether you’re celebrating Star Wars Day (May 4) or having a Star Wars-themed birthday party, here are great ideas to transport family and friends to a galaxy far, far away. May the “fourth” b . . .

Read more

Ways to Celebrate May the “Fourth” Be with You

Ways to Celebrate May the “Fourth” Be with You

After getting a taste of the dark side last year, it’s time to make the most of every celebration (because we can)! Team up with budding Star Wars fans to create festive family fun for May 4 (also . . .

Read more

Mother’s Day Events in San Diego 2021

Mother’s Day Events in San Diego 2021

Mother's Day is the perfect time to show your love and appreciation for Mom in creative and fun ways. Check out these Mom-inspired in-person events that the whole family (but especially Mom) will en . . .

Read more

Fun Family Day Trips and Staycations

Fun Family Day Trips and Staycations

One of the ways families can keep their chins up amidst a pandemic is to plan their next trip. Leisure travel is currently suspended in California, so keep a close eye on travel advisories and healt . . .

Read more

119 Dad-Approved Gifts for Father’s Day

119 Dad-Approved Gifts for Father’s Day

Every Dad is unique, so have the kids spend time thinking about what they can do, make or give him that will speak to his soul and make him feel special this Father’s Day. Below is a great (but by . . .

Read more

Father's Day Round-up

Father's Day Round-up

   Wondering how to celebrate Father's Day this year? Find recipes, crafts & handmade presents, and Dad-approved gift ideas to show the father in your life how much he is appreciated! . . .

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

8 Memorial Day Activities 2020

8 Memorial Day Activities 2020

Out-of-town trips and get-togethers may not be part of your Memorial Day weekend plans this year, but here are eight kid-friendly ideas to make your celebration meaningful and fun while staying at h . . .

Read more

San Diego Family Magazine Logo

Be Family Informed – Sign up for our Newsletters below!