It can be heartbreaking to be away from the ones you love. These days, grandparents are often separated from their grandchildren by hundreds of miles. Psychology Today states that there is more to bonding than simply spending time together. Grandparenting across the miles does provide some unique opportunities to bond that you might not have thought of, had the kids only been 10 minutes away.
Pen pal. Be a pen pal to your grandchildren. Saving those letters will not just be fun mementos for you, but your grandchild also can look at the letters you send over and over. Their connection to you will last forever. Send your grandchildren cool art supplies, stationery, postcards, stamps, envelopes, stickers, stamps and whatever looks like creative fun. The interesting supplies will encourage the kids to write and make it easy for them.
Videoconferencing. A virtual visit can be almost as fun as a real one. Visit a trusted website and download free videoconferencing software. Have your grandkids, or their parents, do the same. Then make a date to meet your grandchild in front of the computer and connect. You can see those precious faces, and they get to see you, too. Go ahead — talk until your laptop runs out of batteries.
Social media. If you’re brave, create social media accounts for yourself. Your older grandchildren will likely already have an account of their own. It can be very enlightening to have this type of connection with your grandchild, and you may gain new insights into their lives and personalities.
Photos. It may seem obvious, but taking pictures of the special moments and the everyday moments in your lives is a great way to stay connected. Send your grandchild their own disposable camera and let them take pictures of whatever they like. Have them send the camera back to you, and delight in the surprises in store once you have the photos developed.
Book club. Read a book together and discuss your opinions. A virtual book club is a great way to help enrich your grandchild and your relationship. Select books that mean something to you, and encourage your grandchildren to do the same.
Sports. Share their love of a favorite sports team, and watch the game together. You can use social media, the telephone or videoconferencing to cheer, shout and comment with one another during the game. Even if you’re not a fan yourself, you will have increased your opportunities to bond and communicate with your grandchildren. You might even find an enriching new interest for yourself.
Bake. Send cookies to your grandchildren. When all else fails, a box of grandma’s or grandpa’s favorite cookies will create a good old-fashioned tie that binds. Food and cooking is a traditional way to show love and care to the people we love, especially children. Why not include the recipe and pass it down to the next generation? You just might get a box of cookies in the mail yourself.