Sunday, July 12, 2009

Thoughts / Tips on Long-Distance Grandparenting

Just reading Assertagirl's blog where she's talking about her mother's hurting feelings as a soon-to-be long-distance grandparent.
So I posted my comments on how it's worked out for our family, then thought, why should all my vast wisdom (sheesh) be wasted on her blog when I can share it with my two-and-a-half loyal readers??
(okay, two of them are here for gardening tips, but I'll get back to pinching tomatoes tomorrow!!!)


It can be tough on long-distance grandparents, that's for sure...

My kids grew up with four grandparents in Calgary, two in Ottawa and two in Toronto (divorces, remarriages; don't ask...).

It is definitely hard on the long-distance ones in the first few years. I'd recommend blowing every spare nickel at either end on travel because they can't even talk on the phone or look at pictures at first.

Experts recommend things like long-distance grandma or grandpa recording themselves reading a story book, then sending the storybook to the kids; I've never tried it, but it sounds like a great idea.

Phone calls / Skype / etc all become easier once the kids are a bit older, too.

The ultimate silver lining is sending the kids away - once they're older, like 11 and up - to spend time with the g'parents over the summer. Away from home, rules, etc. They get away with murder and think I suspect nothing. (but I've stayed on good terms and usually get daily email updates!)

It's also fun for out-of-town relatives to stay in a family-friendly hotel (find one close, with a great pool!). That turns seeing lesser-known relatives into a fun destination and not just an obligatory "boring visit."


I know this isn't much, but maybe it'll start the "thinking juices" flowing and lead to more delightful parenting tips further down the road. :-)

I just want to add... this is my first time in a long time using Blogger's built-in online blog-posting interface. Compared to my now-customary Windows Live Writer experience, it's absolutely, unacceptably... bad. For a fuller comparison of Picasa/Blogger vs Windows Live Writer, click here. (yes, I don't usually write tech stuff at my blog, but it is my most popular post of all time: I may as well promote it a bit!!!)

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