Friday, October 3, 2014

7 Tips to Staying Connected to Long Distance Grandparents

It's day 3 of my 31 days of family and today I'm sharing about grandparents.

Grandparents are awesome. I have some really fond memories of my grandparents from growing up. My Grandma Boles would watch me a lot when I was younger. She taught me how to play card games, how to roll a ball, what rocks were considered lucky (and which weren't), how to wait for your school bus the right way (which really meant no you can't always be first in line and yeah it's not best to push your friends in a driveway), and who the characters on certain soap operas were. When I was 4 years old I probably would have said she was my best friend. 

Now I have the privilege of seeing my parents and my in-laws become grandparents. And honestly, it's really neat. It's so fun to see my kids light up when they talk to them on the phone or when we go to visit them. Unfortunately for us though, we live far away from both sets of grandparents. 

So how do we keep connected with the grandparents? Here are 7 tips to stay connected to long distance grandparents.

1. Phone calls-anytime my kids want to text or call their grandparents I let them. This means that they have gotten some very encrypted text messages (I try my best to translate what aldhfkjshgei really means) but the kids know that their grandparents are just a phone away.

2. Skype/Facetime- this has been huge! We've skyped in the middle of cheerleading events so they can see things in real time. We've skyped from hospital beds to share in new baby moments. We've skyped and facetimed so much that the kids actually get things ready to show off to the computer: new toys, cheers, songs, you name it.

3. Photos- I send more pictures through my phone then I ever would have thought. Consequently I take way more pictures on my phone than an actual camera. One grandparent I email photos to from my phone. The other grandparent I text them to her phone or put them up on facebook. Regardless of how they get them they get to see their grandchildren's smiley (well not always) faces.

4. Picture Books-After some vacations we've made picture books for both the kids to have and their grandparents. Now one grandparent has made them back for us, so we all have the same memories to look back on. We also try to hang up pictures of family members so the kids can always see them and so our baby can become familiar with her family.

5. Snail Mail-The kids have mailed drawings and art projects from school. This is a way to clear out some of the unwanted craft clutter but to also share the love a little.

6. Count Down Calendar-When we know a visit is coming soon, we make up a calendar and post it on the wall. The kids have a great time crossing off the days and counting down to the visit. This helps them to anticipate and look forward to seeing their grandparents and all of the great stuff they're going to do.

7. Know When The Next Visit Is-This is really helpful for everyone. At the end of the visit, we try to know when the next time we'll see them is. This has helped my kids but it has also helped their grandparents too, and gives everyone something else to look forward to during the sad goodbyes.

What are some ways you've stayed connected to family long distance?


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