Families tend to spread out across the country these days, and sometimes even across the world. Jobs are scarce, making relocation an option that cannot be ignored. While moving can be scary, exciting, adventurous and overwhelming, it doesn't have to leave extended family members feeling left behind. Grandparents, particularly, are important elements in the lives of children. This article points out how to keep grandparents involved, even from across the country.
Electronic communication opens many doors when it comes to keeping in touch with long-distance grandparents. Email is so simple that even a child can do it. And so can Grandma and Grandpa! If the senior generation is a bit computer shy, why not spring for a basic computer and include some tutoring. Classes may be as close as the local community center.
Once Grandma sees a few pictures of Sally and Bobby on her computer screen, she'll be encouraged to learn whatever she needs to learn in order to keep the photo fountain flowing. It's also very impressive to the pre-PC generations when they see the instant communication lines that computers create. No more waiting from a letter via snail mail. Answers to questions come swiftly. Vacation pictures arrive while the family is still out of town. Family recipes can be relayed in time for dinner. The possibilities are almost endless.
Children also love to communicate via computer, sending e-cards to Grandma and Grandpa, scanning and emailing schoolwork or artwork, or chatting about the day's events using a webcam and a microphone. Technology has definitely made it easy to keep in touch with long-distance grandparents.
Feeling creative? Here are a few more ways you can bridge the miles using your computer and an open mind. Ask Grandma or Grandpa to record family stories, jokes or songs using a microphone and some simple voice recording software. These family audio files can be compiled into libraries of memories that children will cherish into their own senior years. And with the ease and convenience of email, they can be shared instantly with multiple grandchildren.
Grandkids can also take advantage of audio recordings, sending Grandma and Grandpa moments that will forever be frozen in time. Baby's first words can be savored, piano recitals can be virtually attended, and precious childhood "I love you's" can melt hearts a thousand miles away. Add a webcam and grandparents will be watching baby's first steps, clapping for ballet performances and admiring that frilly prom dress as if they were in the same room.
With today's technology, there's no reason not to keep in close contact with long-distance grandparents. Children grow quickly and months easily roll into years. Let that time be quality time. Stay in touch!