Keeping In Touch With Family
Many grandparents are intent on staying close to their grandchildren and becoming an integral part of their lives, despite their busy work schedules and long distances between them. Though technology is making communication much easier, becoming part of a grandchild's life still requires a concerted effort and close communication with the grandkids' parents.
Sandy Berger is a grandmother in Pinehurst, N.C., who runs Compukiss, a tech Web site, and is dedicated to staying involved in the lives of her three grandchildren. Despite the fact that her
6-year-old grandchild lives in Palm Coast, F.L., and the other two, ages 2 and 3, reside in Stockholm, Sweden, Berger says, "I talk to each of my grandchildren every day."
Tips for staying connected
As Americans become increasingly mobile, long distances often separate grandparents and grandchildren. An AARP study revealed that 45 percent of grandparents live more than 200 miles away from
their grandchildren, notes Amy Goyer, national coordinator of the grandparent information center at the AARP Foundation. Since grandparents are continuing to work into their 60s, most grandparents
only have time for semi-annual or annual visits.
Old fashion ways to connect
If the grandparent is not computer-savvy, shared experiences can still play a role. Grandparents can read sections of "Harry Potter" or other favorite children's novels over the telephone, or even
make a tape recording that the parents can play at night to help the grandchild go to sleep.
One essential factor for grandparents who want to overcome distance and stay involved in their grandchild's life is communicating closely with their children, the grandchildren's parents.
"Grandparents and grandchildren won't form much of a relationship without parents helping out, especially with younger children," Goyer says.
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