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Tips on how to be a 'Long-Distance' Grandparent

Try these 5 ways to build a bond from afar and be part of your grandchild’s life.

1. Face Time:
2. Special visits:
3. Picture Perfect:
4. Story Time:
5. Make use of phone apps.

1. Face Time.

Take advantage of technology on your mobile phone or computer. This will depend on the facilities you have and how comfortable you are with some technology. A regular Face Time where you can share your news and hear what your grandchild has been up to, is an invaluable communication tool. Don’t wait to start this quality time together. If your grandchild is not ready to participate, it will be a chance to hear your voice and see your face. Keep the time short and sweet for the best results. Children do not have a long span of concentration.

2. Special visits. 

Visiting is more feasible for some grandparents than others. However, when you are able to visit, make sure you make the most of the time together. You, as the grandparent can make all the complimentary noises and positive affirmation little ones thrive on. Organise some great outings to build up a memory bank and capture the time on camera. Put the memories together into an album or create a photo book your grandchild will enjoy reading.

3. Picture Perfect.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words and that is so true of the pictures you share with your grandchild. Exchange pictures of you doing your favourite things and ask your family to share the ones of your grandchild you are sure to enjoy.

Hand drawn pictures from your little grandchild are often works of art you like to treasure. Start a gallery of pictures in your home. Ask your family to send pictures on the phone and you can have them printed and hang up in a grandparents gallery.

4. Story Time. 

Stories are a wonderful medium to communicate with your grandchildren. Read and record a story for your grandchild or make up one about you. Create a story around one of your photographs. Pretend to read ‘The Daily News’ like a reporter and have a funny weather report.

You can create a picture book for your child that includes the names and photos of all of their family members. Go through the book and point to the faces and read their names for recognition. Include family pets and scenes from around your home.

5. Make use of Phone Apps.

Phones today have become full of a variety of communication tools. There is an app. for just about everything. Once you have overcome your reservations about technology you will enjoy these different apps that allow you to have personal and touching relationship with your grandchildren. An app recommended recently is called Touchnote. This app is recommended for more senior phone users! Your children can create the app and use it as a forum to share photos, news and even school events. You will feel via the app that you are a part of your grandchild’s day to day life. Your grandchild can feel the same as you send some snippets of your daily event too.

Take away tip:
Be proactive and start simple with one of the suggestions. When you have found your feet choose the idea you like the best and persevere with that one. When keeping your grandparent communication from a distance, being consistent is key to its success.