The connection between a grandparent and their grandchild is a special one. Grandparents can offer wisdom to help guide their grandchildren and they have many stories about their own life experiences to share. They’re also a great source of information about the history of the family. The younger generation provides their grandparents with details about current trends and technologies, and the children brighten the seniors’ days with news about what’s going on in their young lives.
What can you do to stay connected to your grandchildren during COVID-19?
Unfortunately, during the pandemic it’s so much harder for grandparents and their grandchildren to stay connected since many older people are quarantining at home for safety reasons. Of course, you can use the phone to call your grandchildren, but here are some creative ways to stay connected:
1. Read a book together
Buy two copies of a children’s book and send one to your grandchild. Then call your grandchild at the same time each day to read the book to them. This helps build the child’s vocabulary and is a wonderful bonding experience. You can also use video conferencing, like Zoom (https://zoom.us/), which offers a free level of service.
2. Play online games
It’s always been fun to play traditional board games with your grandkids. Since you can’t get together with them, why not play some online games? There are many online games (https://www.romper.com/p/9-online-games-for-kids-grandparents-to-play-when-theyre-not-together-22818106) you can play with your grandkids like Scrabble Go, Uno, or Checkers. You can even play Wheel of Fortune (https://www.wheeloffortune.com/play) by downloading an app. For the safety of kids, always make sure a parent utilizes parental controls when available.
3. Snail Mail
It’s not the newest technology, but it’s always wonderful to get a card or a letter in the mail. And these days it’s such a nice surprise considering the only mail we usually get are bills and marketing mailers. Write about a life experience you’ve had or a fun event in your life. This is a great opportunity to let your grandchildren get to know you even better.
4. Texting and Email
Okay, this one is really obvious. But it’s such a good way to communicate quickly. Let’s say your grandchild is making cookies with their mom, they could let you know how it’s going every step of the way so you feel like you’re there. You could even both watch the same TV program and send comments about what you see back and forth.
5. Video chat
Zoom, FaceTime, and Skype are great ways to bond with your grandkids. You might even want to set up a regular time when you can have these video chats so you know all parties will be available.
6. Set up a family Facebook page
Everyone can post photos and give updates as to what they’re doing. You can also use Messenger to send instant messages. If one household is celebrating an event, they can use Facebook Live so the rest of the whole family can be involved by watching from a phone, computer, or connected TV.
Don’t let bonding with your grandchildren fall by the wayside during the pandemic. Just because you can’t see them in-person, doesn’t mean you can’t continue to build your relationship with them. Be creative and put the energy into keeping in regular contact with them because it will be worth it to both you and the children.