Grand-parenting is one of the most wonderful experiences you can have. But it seems that families today are more fragmented than ever, often living thousands of miles apart. And grandparents who live far away from their grandchildren face a difficult challenge when it comes to building and maintaining close relationships. If you are one of the many long distance grandparents, you’ll need to learn how to create loving, lifelong bonds with your grandchildren.
Tips for long distance grandparents
Grandparents play a big role in the lives of children. They can be the perfect mentors and supporters, offering truly unconditional love. As parents often have to be the “bad guys” always asking about homework and other boring things, children get more attached to their grandparents. That’s probably why children’s memories of the time spent with their grandparents stay with them throughout their entire lives.
But how can long distance grandparents create those memories in the first place? It can be really difficult at times to overcome the distance, but there are ways to stay close to your grandchildren.
Spend time with them virtually
Computer and phone screens can never make up for hugging, kissing and snuggling, and that’s a fact. However, they give you a chance to spend face time with your grandchildren, which is very important for long distance grandparents.
Sometimes it’s difficult to arrange frequent physical presence. If this is the case, a video chat lets you watch the children as they grow and be a part of their life. It helps you create a sense of continuity between visits and avoid the risk of being a stranger to the child when you meet.
Telling stories to your grandchildren via video chat is one of the activities that are great for building and maintaining close relationships with them. You can share interesting facts from your family’s past and increase the child’s sense of belonging. You can also tell stories that may teach them important life lessons. If you schedule regular story time with your grandchildren, they will grow accustomed to your face and voice.
You can initiate many other routines and traditions with your grandchildren through video chats. For example, you can share one of your favorite childhood songs. If you listen to it or sing it together regularly, it will become your song. It will inevitably create a memory that your grandchildren will cherish throughout their life.
As soon as your grandchildren learn to read, you can start your own little book club. You can read the same book together, or read it separately and then discuss it. This can become a special ritual you can practice for years.
Make your special photo diary
Beside being worth a thousand words, photos are valuable because they immortalize memories. You don’t have to be specially skilled to take photos. In fact, if you can’t find your way around new technology, let your grandchildren teach you. This will be a time well spent for both you and the children.
The Sherish photo app is great for this activity. It lets you stay connected with your family every day, from anywhere. You can create a Sherish Connect Album where you and your grandchildren can add photos of your everyday activities. Take photos of your walks, your pet, or any other thing that is significant to you. Ask your grandchildren to upload photos from their daily activities, too.
Thanks to the unlimited storage space Sherish offers, you can build your album with as many photos as you want. And you don’t have to worry about organizing all your photo memories. The app does it for you, so you can easily find photos by date, location, person, and more.
Everyone that you choose from your family can add photos and view them from their phones or tablets at any time. You can bring your photos to life by recording and adding personal audio messages.
The best thing about the Sherish app is that it lets you enjoy total privacy. Your Sherish Connect Album is yours alone. It comes with total security, keeping your family photos safe from the privacy invasion, tracking and profiling of social media.
Send them personalized presents
Create a habit of sending small personalized presents with notes. Because of technology, new generations are deprived from the thrill of receiving physical mail. Use this as an opportunity to make your own ritual with your grandchildren.
Mail them letters, books, souvenirs, or even meals if you have the chance. Frequently preparing and mailing a particular type of food can create lifelong memories. Who doesn’t remember granny’s pies and cookies?
Long distance grandparents sometimes miss important events in their grandchildren’s lives. But there is a way to show your love and care even if you can’t be physically there – by sending personalized cards. And Sherish can help you with this as well.
The app keeps your photos in their full size and quality. This lets you use them for making creative photo gifts, greeting cards, or photo books by printing individual photos and entire albums. Thanks to the app’s integration with Walgreens, you can easily export your photos for printing.
Every time you miss a birthday, a milestone, or a holiday in your grandchildren’s life, you can send a photo gift. In fact, you can also send a customized photo gift to your grandchildren for no particular reason, just to surprise them and show that you think of them.
Plan your visits
Not counting the holiday seasons, long distance grandparents often find it hard to plan their visits. You or your children may have tight schedules filled with work tasks that make it hard to make precise plans for traveling. But it has been proven many times that it’s much easier for everyone when they know the date of the next gathering.
Talk to your children and make a plan of your visits or their visits for the next couple of months. Then, you can count the days with your grandchildren until the next time you see each other. You can also plan your activities and prepare for them.
If it’s possible, take short trips with your grandchildren. Experiencing new things and places together will help you create precious lifelong memories. Explore places you’ve never been to, or pick a place where you can spend quality time with your grandchildren.
Most importantly – don’t forget to take lots of photos for your family album!