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Feb 29

Long Distance Grandparents

Over the past hundred plus years, Nana and Papa have gotten farther and farther away. In 1916, grandparents were very likely to live in the same area, if not the same home, as their grandchildren. In 2016, grandparents are not only not likely to live in the same home as their grandkids but might not even live on the same continent!

This sounds like bad news for grandparents and grandchildren alike. Grandparents get so much joy from time spent with grandkids; Children benefit from the additional love, attention and teaching from another trusted adult in their lives.

But stop the boo-hooing! The changing world not only means we are likely to live far from family, it also means that we have many new ways to stay in touch.  So grandma and grandpa…

Computer communication SOSsitterGet your tech on!

If you were not sure you wanted to Facebook or Facetime, let me be clear – you do!  Stay on top of the technology your grandkids like to use – Texting, Instagram, Twitter – and get on. Not only will you be able to learn what they are doing day to day, you are also likely to get a response if you communicate with them in the way they communicate with their friends.

Keep your old world ways!

Balance your online and offline presence in your grandchildrens’ lives. Sending letters, cards and special care packages can be one of your “special things” with your grandkids. My mother used to send a care package to her godchildren on every conceivable holiday, every year, like clockwork. They are all grown now but still talk about how they knew to run to the mailbox to look for their package.

Give virtual and in person hugs!

Schedule regular Skypes or Facetimes because nothing beats seeing each other face to face – even if on a computer. Balance this with regular visits in person.

The most critical thing to know is that it is the adults in your grandkids’ lives who are the key to the kingdom.

Whether the kids’ parents, Nanny or other support in place, they will be the ones to facilitate you staying in touch so keep a good relationship with them as well. SOSsitter.ca is a Canadian portal designed to help you find local caregivers in your area, easily and quickly. The caregiver who is right for your family is only a click away.

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