Whether you live 100 yards or 1000 miles from your parents, the chances are they want to be involved in your life, especially if you have kids. For many older adults, being a grandparent is an opportunity to feel youthful again. It's sort of a flashback to when you were younger and did things like changing diapers. Most love their grandkids just as if they were their own children and would do anything to be apart of their lives.
It can be quite sad for grandparents who live a long way from their grandchildren, making them feel left out. If you don’t want your parents to feel excluded from the lives of your little ones, give some of these ideas a go.
Make Visits Whenever You Can
However far away your family lives, the odd visit can mean the world to them. They will love to see how your brood has grown, and they’ll happily shower them with treats most likely as well.
Have them visit your home too if it’s not too much hassle. It’s important that they feel like they’re still part of your life, and not just sitting on the periphery. Even if you can’t visit more than once a year, planning for those visits with their grandparents can be a great center point for their interactions in the build up.
Never Forget Special Occasions
Chances are, your parents will never forget your kids’ birthdays, and they’ll get thoroughly spoiled at Christmas too. If you encourage your children to share their sense of excitement around special occasions, your parents will love the feeling of appreciation and love.
Sending hand-drawn cards and presents in the mail is the perfect personalized gift, but flowers are great too. Even if there are thousands of miles between you, it is possible to send flowers and a little card. Even if you always send a birthday card, they’ll love to receive something from the kids too. So make sure the kids dazzle things up with their handy work.
Send Regular Updates
Regular updates, either by email or via the post office helps them to feel like they’re still involved in their lives. There's nothing too little that you can mention.
Plus sharing things through the cloud and using video services like Skype or Facetime can make things feel more realistic. Photographs, artwork, and even copies of school report cards can really help to build that bridge and reinforce the bond as well.
Kids love receiving mail – actually, most people do when they’re not bills. If your parents are up for it, encourage them to become penpals. Your parents will love receiving handwritten letters from their grandkids, and your kids will just love receiving mail back in return.
It also encourages your kids to build a bond with their grandparents which don't have to go through you, making it far more personal.
Start Your Family Tree
If you want your children to be interested in their grandparent’s lives and your family heritage, encourage them to start a family tree. Tell them to ask their grandparents for their input. It’s educational, fun, and your parents will love telling them all about their families from way back when.
Kimberly Flickinger (@kaflickinger74)
It is amazing what we can learn from our elders. I learned a lot from my grandparents (on my father’s side) and miss them terribly.
What a blessing for you to have had such a close relationship with your grandparents. They have so much wisdom to hand down.
I am now a grandma to 2 beautiful baby girls and unfortunately don’t see them as often as I wish!
I’m sure most of us wish we had more time with the ones we love. Life seems busy for everyone in general!
I loved reading this article! Living so far away from my grandchildren is hard as we only get to see each other about twice a year but we make the most of it by video chatting and phone calls!
It’s so wonderful to hear that you put in so much effort despite the distance. It’s not easy being so far from your loved ones.