My kids have been seeing one set of their grandparents a bit this summer, but when school starts again, we don’t want to take any chances. And they haven’t seen their other grandparents since the winter since we couldn’t travel to see them this summer. I’m really sad for all of us. Do you have any tips for how we can make this separation easier?
The loss of time and connection has been so difficult for grandparents and grandchildren alike but there are so many ways to ease the separation. I reached out to Kerry Byrne of The Long Distance Grandparent website for some suggestions to help everyone stay connected.
Schedule a weekly “grand date.” Kerry suggests that we plan virtual visits. “Connect every week on a Saturday morning or for Sunday dinner so kids know what to expect. Invite both sets of grandparents to join at the same time to lessen the video fatigue.”
If you’ve never celebrated Grandparents Day before, this is the year to start. It falls on September 13th this year. Send a video of your children singing “Happy Grandparents Day to you” to the tune of Happy Birthday or an e-mail with ‘Three things we love about Grandma and Grandpa.’ It’s also a great opportunity for parents to acknowledge how important their own parents or in-laws are in their children’s lives. Write them a short note or text and share your favourite memory about them as a grandparent.
This pandemic won’t last forever. Your parents and your children will both appreciate the efforts you make to help them stay connected.
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Sarah Rosensweet is a peaceful parenting coach and parenting advice columnist for Canada's Globe and Mail newspaper. She lives in Toronto with her husband and three big kids (ages 13, 16, and 19). Sarah teaches parents a non-punitive, connection-based approach that uses firm limits with lots of empathy. Enjoy your kids again! Find her at sarahrosensweet.com