Your proximity to your grandchildren often determines the kind of relationship you have with them. Fortunately, with today’s technology, there’s no reason you can’t spend enough time with them. There are many apps for your cell phone and several video call platforms, and of course, you can still use email or even letters.
You can also be proactive and make the most of every visit with the tips below.
Create a home away from home
The way you arrange a place for your grandchildren depends on the finances and space you have available. It will help a lot if there is something familiar every time they visit. For example, you can keep a big box of toys, and it will even be better if it’s their dad’s or mom’s old toys. Or display family photos on your walls so your grandchildren will get to know everyone, including those they may never meet. If there is no space on your walls, browse through albums with photos of their father or mother with them.
If you have a lot of space, you can arrange a separate playroom for your grandchildren and truly give them something to which they can look forward every time they come to visit! Or make their favourite milkshake, read their favourite book before they go to bed and create traditions that they will remember for the rest of their lives.
Don’t wait for the adventure, be the adventure
Take the initiative and plan outings rather than waiting for a great experience with your grandchildren. Go to the zoo, go hiking, take cooking lessons or start painting. The more you enjoy your own life, the easier it will be to invite your grandchildren and make a special occasion of every visit.
Use technology to reduce the distance
If your grandchildren live far away or in another country, you can use technology to overcome the distance. Here are some options to consider:
- You can easily make a video call on WhatsApp, or if you have an iPhone, you can use FaceTime. Skype is easy to use on your phone or computer. Zoom is ideal if you want to talk to all your grandchildren at the same time, and you don’t need any software; just ask one of your grandchildren to email the link, and within seconds you can start talking to them.
- With the Moment Garden app, you can keep abreast of everything in your grandchild’s life. Ask your son or daughter to open a ‘garden’ and ‘plant’ photos of important events. Each time they post a photo or comment, you will receive an email. The app is private, very safe and allows you to be part of your grandchild’s daily life.
- TouchNote is an app that lets you design photos on your smartphone and send them to anyone anywhere in the world. It is ideal for special occasions or to show you miss them.
The best way to maintain a good relationship with your grandchildren is to establish a routine. Life is busy and it’s hard to find time for unplanned chats. Establish a routine by calling your grandchildren every week or every month at the same time. Agree on a time for video calls and show interest in even the smallest event in their lives.
This post is also available in: Afrikaans