As our parents grow old, they anticipate the possibility of becoming grandparents more and more. They pick names, buy clothes and even plan ahead how they would spoil the little brats. But things really take a different turn when your grandkids live abroad. Nonetheless, there are still a few ways to get in touch and salvage the relationship as best as you can.
Skype Video Calls
We are lucky that we live in an age where technology has come a long way and can help us maintain our relationships with our loved ones. There are a wide variety of platforms like Facebook, Skype, WhatsApp, and many more that provide you with good quality video calls. I get that a video call is not as fulfilling as having your grandkids in your arms and hugging them whenever you feel like it, but it is as real as it can get in these circumstances. Video calls can still be a lot of fun, and if you try to commit to them, you will enjoy those on-screen gatherings a lot. Study the following few tips to ensure you get the most out of those video calls.
- Ask specific questions: oftentimes, asking general questions like “how are you?” or “how was your day?” can make your grandkids confused. Try to ask specific questions about their day or how did they enjoy a particular class at school. These questions are easier to answer and can lead to more meaningful communications.
- Read stories: one other excellent activity on video calls is reading them a couple of stories or even bedtime stories. By doing so, you will get to know their favourite books, and it will also provide you with topics to talk about.
- Outdoor video calls: who said all your calls should be made from the comfort of your couch? Get out, go to a park or a museum. Show them where you live, your neighbourhood, the breathtaking sights of your city, and anything that can enhance the quality of your calls.
One old fashion way of communication and showing your love is through sending them gifts. With your video calls and your private conversations with their parents, you’ll get an idea about their interests and can choose gifts that they’ve been wanting. Make sure to include a card expressing your love and longing for them with every gift you send. These short words will make you have a deeper relationship with them.
Share Your Interests
Sharing your individual interests can go a long way in establishing a strong relationship and help you understand each other more. It will also make your conversations a lot more enjoyable as you would never run out of topics to talk about. Showing interest in what your grandkids love is an excellent way to let them know you care about every aspect of their life and are keen to discover everything about them.
Try To Visit
Even though you can have a fairly good connection with them through calls and emails, visiting your grandkids should be in your schedule. There are lots of ways to visit them. You guys can plan a vacation and meet halfway, for example. Some of the already retired grandparents can have an extended visit for years with some of the visa grants. For example, here in Australia, you can get a temporary visa for your parents for 3 or 5 years. Many grandparents take advantage of these kinds of visas, especially when they become new grandparents because they don’t want to miss out on their little brat growing up. If you plan a visit and want to take your time there and experience life with your grandkids, I advise you to take a look at the visa 870 processing time to get an idea about the rules and regulations.
Write Real Letters
Even though we live in the age of technology and sending emails is as quick as pushing a few buttons; however, the old fashion way of going through the process of writing an actual letter on paper is really fun. Sending them a piece of paper with your writings on them is far more valuable than artificial words on a screen. They can also respond with letters if they are old enough to read and write. This can soon turn into an activity that would develop a solid bond with each other. Sending letters back and forth would also help with their reading and writing, which are necessary skills.
Teach Them Something Special
Some of us have the greatest memories about something that our grandparents taught us when we were kids. With the long-distance, you need to get creative. Like teaching them how to play cards or a few magic tricks that they can brag about at school. If you’re good at math, you can help them with their homework or any other subject they need help with. You can also reverse this experience by letting them teach you stuff too. Like a particular video game, they want to play online with you.
Play With Them
One of the most important character-building activities you can do with your grandchildren is playing with them. Apart from being fun, playing with them will strengthen your bond and open a new door to them to be more comfortable to share what’s on their mind with you. Also, it will teach them valuable skills like how to be competitive and develop their logical skills like decision making and a lot more.
Follow Them on Their Social Media
As your grandkids grow up, they will get on different social media platforms. Ask them if it’s alright to follow them there and become their biggest fan. Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok are very popular among the younger generation. You can watch their pics and photos on these platforms to further understand them and interact with their posts at every possible opportunity. Another great benefit is that you can text them on the go using these platforms and sort of becoming available throughout the day.
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