By: Sahel Gingerich, Empty Nest Intern
As children grow and follow their dreams to other cities and countries, grandchildren grow up often away from their grandparents. Maintaining the relationship between generations becomes harder and requires more flexibility. Technology has allowed grandparents and grandchildren to bridge the gap and stay connected in meaningful ways that this essay is going to discuss. Here are a few ways grandparents can connect with their grandchildren who live far away from home.
While physically sitting around the table or cozying up on the sofa with loved ones is always so comforting, living in different parts of the country or even the world may limit how realistic that is to always be together in person. Leverage technology where possible! Connecting on a video call with grandchildren allows you not only to connect but to see each other's faces, expressions, and share the joy as if you were right there together. It's a fantastic way to break down the barriers of physical separation and maintain that cherished connection with your grandchildren, turning the limitations of distance into opportunities for meaningful interaction.
While it's true that technology isn't everyone's go-to for connection, it serves as a valuable tool to keep the flame of relationships alive, especially when miles separate family members. The key? Stay curious. Dive into the intricacies of your loved ones' lives from a distance. Pose questions like, "What brought a smile to your face or a tear to your eye today?" This can act as the gateway for grandparents to initiate meaningful conversations with their grandchildren and maintain a genuine interest in their daily experiences. It's not just about the answers; it's about fostering a connection that transcends the physical gap.
Share Your Stories
One of the best gifts grandparents can give their children is sharing their stories from the time they were younger or even the age of their grandchildren. The world looked and felt different then, and your grandparents are curious to know more about your life. Sharing memories and stories from the past helps children gain insight and connection while also keeping those memories alive to someday share them with their own children.
New Hobbies and Projects
Another way to connect with grandchildren is to discover shared hobbies or engage in separate projects that can later be shared and discussed between the grandparents and the grandchildren. Whether it's delving into the world of learning a new musical instrument or embarking on the creative journey of crafting scrapbooks, these shared activities become the catalyst for meaningful conversations. Such hobbies not only initiate interesting dialogue but establish a unique bond between generations, transcending the physical distance.
Open Gifts Virtually
The joy that grandparents experience in giving gifts to their grandchildren is unparalleled, especially witnessing the sheer excitement as the little ones unwrap and delight in the surprise. When there isn't an option to share that experience in person, opening gifts together virtually can be the next best thing. Plan ahead by coordinating with your kids, set a time for a video call, and share in these memorable moments together.
Birthdays, holidays, and other special occasions give grandparents an important reason to get creative and stay connected with their grandchildren, but these relationships should also be prioritized week-to-week and month-to-month to maintain strong bonds with grandkids as time goes so fast. Blink and they're all grown up! You'll never regret making these connections a priority. Make it fun! Mix it up with your virtual visits – get creative and make it meaningful. What really matters to your precious little ones is that they feel loved and cared for, even if you can't always be there in person, it means so much to know that they're thought of and that you look forward to your next time together in person again.
If you find yourself in need of professional help, don't hesitate to reach out to us and schedule a session. Our dedicated team at Empty Nest Counseling is here to help you navigate life's challenges and transitions with care and compassion. Whether you're experiencing difficulties related to the milestones of becoming an Empty Nester or new grandparent or finding balance in how you relate to your adult children, our therapists are ready to support you. We offer both in-person and virtual therapy. Schedule a therapy session with us today and take the first step towards a healthier you. Remember, you don't have to face it alone – we're here for you.