Long-distance grandparentingA large percentage of grandparents live more than 200 miles from their grandchildren. Children's lives can change very quickly so long-distance grandparents sometimes struggle trying to keep up with the day-to-day details of their grandkids’ lives. Often, it just requires special efforts to communicate with your grandchild and establish the foundation for a strong long-term relationship.
When your grandchild is a baby, toddler, or very young child, engage the parents to keep up to date on your grandchild’s progress, his or her current interests, and the type of reading or viewing material that might be appropriate. When the child is old enough to interact, whether on the phone, via email, or through regular mail, start engaging the child directly.
Grandparents in the digital ageFor the computer-savvy, the Internet can add a whole new dimension to long-distance grandparenting. Email, instant messaging, and video conferencing can all help to shrink the miles and keep you in touch with your grandchildren. Use the available technology to engage your grandchild in creative activities rather than simply asking, “How’s school?” For example, you can play online games with your grandchild, start an online book club or fantasy sports league with them, or share videos of you or your grandkids enjoying a favorite hobby. Try exchanging jokes or favorite family recipes via email, or have them scan or fax report cards or pictures they’ve drawn.
Other ways to stay connectedAs well as the Internet, there are plenty of other ways to help long-distance grandparenting: