When grandkids don’t grow up nearby, it’s natural for grandparents to be sad. If this is your reality for a while, you won’t just leave it at that and endure the disconnect. You’ll find every opportunity to make your grandmotherly or grandfatherly presence known. To help you do this, here are a few tips for long-distance grandparenting to put into practice.
Make a Big Deal Out of Their Big Day(s)
While being with your grandkids nearly every day in-person is ideal, celebrating their big days—their birthdays, accomplishments, and everything in between—is important too. When their birthday is fast-approaching, ship out a gift, which you can make more personal and impactful in several helpful ways. In addition, give them a special video call. Now’s the time to gush over them, talk about when they were born, and celebrate them as people.
Other important occasions to make a virtual appearance for are graduations, religious milestones, big sports games, and anything else that means a lot to them. Go ahead and upgrade your data plan so that you can be as present as possible without technological difficulties hindering you. Overall, your presence as they celebrate will better connect you to the best times in their life.
Write Individualized Letters
Next, write your grandkids individualized letters. While video chatting means a lot, you probably all do this together as a large family unit. During these hectic calls, it’s easy for one or two kids to get lost in the shuffle and not hear from grandma and grandpa. Instead, take the time to establish a pen pal exchange with them, as long as they’re old enough to write letters.
Learn About Where They’re Growing Up
Another tip for long-distance grandparenting is to learn all you can about where your grandchildren are growing up, especially if they’re in a different country or vastly different cultural environment. This could involve learning their language so that you can easily talk together, celebrating their cultural traditions, or reading up about what’s going on near them. Showing an awareness of their environment keeps you from feeling worlds apart from them. Also, this makes visiting them even easier for you.