how to cope with not seeing your grandchildren
When my wife and I moved across the country for work, my parents were devastated that they wouldn’t be able to see their grandchildren as often.
My dad had always been close with my kids, attending their T-ball games and dance recitals, so I knew this would hit him hard.
My mom tried to put on a brave face, but I could tell she was heartbroken at the thought of missing so many milestones and holidays together.
Over the years, my parents came up with creative ways to stay connected to the grandkids and feel like they were still part of their lives.
They’d Skype into birthday parties, letting the kids blow out candles to them over video chat. At Christmas, they’d mail elaborate scavenger hunts with video instructions, sending the kids scrambling around the house to find their gifts.
My dad even learned how to edit videos together so he could create personalized highlight reels of the kids scoring soccer goals and performing in school plays.
No matter the distance, my parents were determined to remain active grandparents. Their persistence and imagination allowed them to cope with the sadness of being apart.
While nothing could truly replace in-person visits, they found meaningful ways to share in the joy of watching their grandchildren grow up.
I know the kids miss being able to run up and hug Grandma and Grandpa whenever they want, but I’m so glad technology has allowed us to bridge the physical gap between families.
According to a recent study, grandparents who do not live near their grandchildren are more likely to suffer from depression. There are a number of ways to cope with not seeing your grandchildren, and it is important to find the method that works best for you.
11 Healthy Ways to Cope With Not Seeing Your Grandchildren
When my job required me to relocate across the country from my parents, they were understandably devastated that they wouldn’t get to see their grandchildren as often.
As a father, I knew how difficult this transition would be for them since they had been very involved grandparents who attended every sports game, dance recital, and school play.
However, my parents approached this challenge in a healthy, proactive way and came up with creative solutions to stay connected to the grandkids. Here are 11 ways they coped with the distance:
- Weekly video calls – No matter what, they made sure to schedule weekly video chats with the kids to hear about their days. Seeing their smiling faces and getting virtual hugs was the highlight of their week.
- Activity care packages – My parents would mail the kids personalized care packages full of activities, like science experiment kits, art supplies, and baking sets. This gave them something fun to look forward to opening.
- Handwritten letters – To make the kids feel special, my parents wrote old-fashioned letters and postcards detailing their latest adventures. The kids loved getting mail just for them.
- Shared photo albums – Using digital albums, my parents and grandkids could upload their latest photos to share glimpses of their days. This helped them feel connected.
- Virtual bedtime stories – At bedtime, my parents would read stories and sing lullabies over FaceTime to maintain their special nightly routine.
- Online games – They played interactive online games like Words with Friends and enrolled in virtual painting classes together to bond over shared hobbies.
- Movie date nights – My parents would watch the same movie as the kids on Friday nights and text about their favorite parts, mimicking their old tradition.
- Cooking together – Over video chat, my parents would guide the kids through preparing a treasured family recipe, keeping traditions alive from afar.
- Handmade gifts – Knowing how much it meant to the kids, they still made personalized, handmade gifts for birthdays and holidays.
- Digital scrapbooking – Using shared albums, my mom and kids created collaborative scrapbooks celebrating milestones and memories.
- Visiting on school breaks – My parents made the most of school breaks and traveled to visit the kids as often as possible to maximize their precious in-person time.
Though the distance was difficult, I was amazed at my parents’ determination to nurture their bond with their grandchildren. Their emotional commitment demonstrates that geographic separation doesn’t have to prevent close relationships.
By embracing technology, creativity, and positivity, they found meaningful ways to remain engaged, active grandparents. Their example inspired me as a father, and I know these memories of staying connected will be cherished by our family forever.
Should grandparents visit their grandchildren?
There are good arguments on both sides of whether grandparents should visit their grandchildren:
Reasons grandparents should visit:
- It allows grandparents and grandchildren to bond. Visits allow them to get to know each other and create lasting memories.
- Grandparents can pass down family history, traditions, and values during visits. This connects the generations.
- Grandkids often enjoy the extra attention and spoiling that comes from grandparents. The visits are a treat.
- It helps grandparents stay active and engaged when they have young people to interact with. This can be mentally stimulating.
- Visits provide help and support to parents. Grandparents can assist with childcare, meals, rides, etc.
Reasons grandparent visits may be limited:
- Frequent visits could interfere with nuclear family routines and boundaries. Parents may prefer control over schedules.
- Travel can become burdensome and expensive, especially if grandparents live far away. It may not be feasible.
- As grandparents age, health limitations may restrict their ability to handle young children. Safety is a concern.
- If grandparents undermine parents’ rules, it can cause tension and conflicts in child-rearing styles.
- Some families have strained relationships between generations. More contact may exacerbate problems.
Why grandparents are important to grandchildren
Grandparents are important to grandchildren for many reasons. They provide wisdom, love, and support that can be invaluable to children as they grow up. They can also be a fun and loving presence in a child’s life.
- Grandparents can offer wisdom that comes from years of experience. They can share stories and advice that can help grandchildren navigate their own lives.
- Grandparents’ love is often unconditional, and they can provide a warm and supportive presence in a child’s life.
- They can help instill values, teach new skills, and pass down family traditions. Spending time with grandparents can be a cherished part of childhood.
- Grandparents have been shown to have a positive impact on their grandchildren’s lives, including by providing material support and by increasing the amount of time that children spend with their parents.
- Grandparents can also connect children with extended family members, and they can help children form ties to their communities.
Why do grandkids ignore their grandparents?
There are different reasons why this might happen.
- One reason is that the grandparent-grandchild relationship is not as close as the parent-child relationship. The grandparent-grandchild bond can be a more casual one, and it’s natural for grandchildren to focus more on their parents than their grandparents.
- Another reason is that grandparents may live far away from their grandchildren, making it difficult to stay in touch. With today’s technology, there are many ways to stay connected even when you’re miles apart, but it takes effort from both sides to make it work.
- Finally, some grandparents may inadvertently push their grandchildren away by being too critical or overbearing.
In conclusion, although it can be difficult to cope with not seeing your grandchildren, there are a number of things you can do to make the situation more bearable.
First, try to stay in communication with them as much as possible. Secondly, make plans to visit them or have them visit you.
Finally, accept that there may be times when you are unable to see them and find ways to occupy your time during those periods.