3 Super Simple Tips For a Long Distance Grandparent

Grandchild on phone with grandparents, grandchild on phone with grandma, child on phone

3 Super Simple Tips For a Long Distance Grandparent


Two letters laying on a keyboard - 3 Super Simple Tips to Being a Fabulous Long Distance Grandparent - Adventures in NanaLandDo long distance-relationships really work? Oh, I hope so, because one of my greatest loves lives in another time zone.  Of course, I’m talking about my Texas Littles (That’s what I call my grandkids). I really can’t complain too much. Only 4 of my 14 grandchildren live out of state now. However, that’s still a whole lot of distance between us and those four. I have had to figure out how to build relationships as a long distance grandparent with these grandchildren who I only see occasionally.

I found 3 very simple ways to make a BIG impact in becoming the best long distance grandparent I can be. Are you ready? Don’t miss these because they’re so easy!

1. Long Distance Grandparent – Talk to Your Grandkids Often

In a world where technology is king, there is no reason to keep you from talking to your grandkids at least once a week. We love to get on the computer or the phone and catch up. We long distance grandparents have so many options now that our grandparents never had – Skype, Facetime, Google Duo and of course, cell phones (or the telephone depending on where you’re at in the technological evolution).

All these wonderful technological beauties can keep us connected across the miles. It will hopefully. . .help you (and me) become a better long distance grandparent.

{Just a note: Okay. . .Go Ahead and Text Your Grandkids}

We text when things get busy and when we want to know what’s new or to get an update. However, let’s chat about this for a minute.  Please don’t use texting as a way to avoid an actual video-to-face or voice conversation. However, if you are dealing with a teenager, well. . .texting may be the only way to get them to “chat”. I get it! As long as it isn’t so often that it becomes annoying to them, it’s a great way to keep in touch.

Another really good reason for texting is to send just a brief word of encouragement or celebration their way. Use it anyway you need to, but don’t use it as an excuse to ditch out on actually talking!

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2. Long Distance Grandparent – Be Interested in Your Grandkids Lives

We like to show genuine interest in our grandchildren’s lives. Don’t be afraid to ask about what they’re doing in school, extracurricular activities, and with their friends.

Get to know who their friends are. You can even ask to see pictures so you have a face to go with the name. Ask about their relationships with friends or significant others. You may be surprised at how much they’ll tell you. Sometimes they need someone to confide in who doesn’t live in their house. Perhaps a long distance grandparent may be just the right person.

Follow up previous conversations with questions about something they told you. Ask how they did on that big test that they had last Friday.  Or how it felt to get a standing ovation at the play.  Or give encouragement when the soccer team lost that crucial game. This will help your grandchildren know that you not only listen to them, but that you really care about what goes on in their lives.

“I have had to figure out how to build and maintain long-distance relationships with these grandchildren who I only see occasionally.”

3. Long Distance Grandparent – Show Your Grandkids That You Support Them

As a long distance grandparent, I have been able to show support for our Texas grandchildren by participating in fundraisers for their school, team or club – most fundraisers have online options these days. Papa and I even took out an ad in a playbill last year for our granddaughter’s dance competition. It was a great way for us to tell her how proud we were of her even though we couldn’t be there. Dance competitions, sports and plays usually have this kind of option.

You could try sending a candy lei or corsage for a graduation or other important milestone when you can’t be there.  Even a card, note or letter in the mail will mean a lot. It will show that you are thinking about them even though you are not close by.

Okay, so this is one of those great times when a text message can mean the world to a child or teenager who has got something BIG happening in their life. A simple message that tells them that you are thinking of them might make the difference in how they feel about themselves.

text message on cell phone, text message to grandchild, cell phone - 3 Super Simple Tips to Being a Fabulous Long Distance Grandparent - Adventures in NanaLand

You could also show your support by sharing a story that relates to something they are going through. Like that time when you didn’t make the team or didn’t get asked to prom. It will help them know that while those things aren’t fun, they can survive. . .of course, after they cry for a while. You could follow up one of their disappointments with a little note of encouragement or small treat sent through the mail.  Well, of course. . . be careful sending chocolate!! Three words: Ooey. Gooey. Mess!

See? I told you. . .EASY! Just 3 little things that you can do that will make a BIG impact in the lives of your grandchildren. Just because you have to be a long distance grandparent doesn’t mean that you have to act like it. You can be every bit as close to those grandchildren as you are with any that live near you.

It doesn’t take much time. . .or even effort. . .to show them you are close by in your heart.

Cookies & Milk for Everyone!

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P.S. If you’re looking for other ways to connect with your grandkids, download our FREE 100+ Activities to Do with Grandkids! It’s FREE and you can download it now!
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2 thoughts on “3 Super Simple Tips For a Long Distance Grandparent”

  1. Carleen

    How can I read books online with my grandkids? Is there an app?

    1. Carleen, we have some suggestions for you to read to your grandkids in our article about using technology to connect with grandkids. You can read that here.

      There are also a couple of online programs that I know of that allow you to read books on the screen together but you need paid accounts to access them. One is Readeo and the other is Caribu. (*Caribu is free to use until the end of May 2020.) Both are really fun!

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