These days, families are often separated
when grandparents retire to warmer climates or, as with many in Doha, families move for career options.
Grandparents are an important part of a child’s life and there are many great ways to grow a close relationship despite the miles between.
Why are grandparents important? “Support and unconditional love without day-to-day responsibility,” says Dr. Lawrence Weiss, Director and Associate Professor at the Sanford Center for Aging at the University of Nevada in the U.S. Also, grandparents model appropriate behaviour, give time and attention and can help instill family values.
There are many ways to stay close to grandparents while living away from one another.
Technology. The internet has become an incredible, low-cost way to shrink the miles. People of all ages can communicate through e-mail, video conferencing, live chats, e-cards and interactive games.
Creativity. Writing stories together by starting the story and sending it the other person to complete is one way to keep the communication creative. Personalised crossword puzzles and word searches like the puzzle maker at discoveryschool.com is another fun way to bridge the distance.
Movies & more. A great way for grandparents to see how the children are growing is to create
videos or audiotapes.
Vacations. Plan ways to get together that will give grandparents and children a chance to spend some quality time together and create lasting memories.
Snail Mail. Although the internet is instant, everyone loves to get a personal card or letter in the mail. Using mail is a great way to send photos, notes, articles that may be of interest, drawings, greeting cards and letters.
Telephone. The telephone gives the chance to get to know each other’s voices and is an opportunity to make someone feel special. Just calling to ask how their day is going or leaving a thoughtful message is sure to warm any heart.
Whatever method you choose for keeping close relationships between grandparents and grandchildren, the important thing is make sure to encourage a happy healthy relationship between the two. What’s the best way to have a close relationship? “Communicate, communicate, communicate,” says Dr. Weiss.