Long Distance Grandparenting

Long Distance Grandparenting can be a heartbreaking problem… Problem solving happens throughout our lives. As we get older, hopefully, we get better at it. When I became a grandma, it was an incredibly special time in my life. Then when I became a long distance grandma, I had to find a way to fix the heartbreak of being so far away from my dear little ones. I wanted more than simply saying hi, or grandma loves you. I wanted a whole relationship.

This was a big problem! How do you create a whole relationship with a toddler, or very young child? I began my quest to solve this problem and tried several different ways to interact with my grandchildren. I wanted interaction that would be fun for them, and not just fun for me, but moving toward a more fulfilling, whole relationship.

I created several games, that grew into stories, that grew into activities. The evolution of our relationship has been an incredible journey. The time I spend creating these activities has lessened the lonely heartache of missing them, and the time we do spend together, on video chat, is totally engaging, fun, and whole relationship building.

I can say now that it’s not all of what I want, but it’s so much better than I ever thought it could be, with the many miles between us.

While on this incredible journey of being a long distance grandma, I thought of other grandparents, and wondered if they wouldn’t like to engage with their grandchildren in this way too. So, I decided to chronicle some of the activities I created for my grandchildren, including how to’s, materials lists, and age appropriate suggestions for each activity. This process has become a book called The Grandparent’s Field Guide for Long Distance Grandparenting. I’m still working on the publishing end of things for the book, but I thought it might be fun to share some activities that aren’t in the book, here on my website. So, this page is dedicated to that share of activities. I hope you all enjoy them, and learn how to build a whole relationship with your grandchildren. I must share one of the secrets I found on building that relationship, its playing. We have to learn all over again how to play, it’s through this play that we begin to cultivate that closeness with our grandchildren, and ease the heartache of being far away.

Things you should know are, my special names for my grandchildren are Little Moon, and Little Wolf. The activities are all laid out in story style, so the readers can use them as a sort of script or just to know how to sequence things. The activities have evolved into the grandparents having an imaginary friend named Phineas. Phineas writes letters to the grandchildren about his life, his travels, and his experiences. He’s lived a very long time and traveled all over the world. You should also know that if you decide to “play” he has to become your imaginary friend and you get to introduce him to your grandchildren. Oh, yeah, he’s missing his tail. I hope you’re all ready to have lots of fun, laughter, and a wonderful whole relationship with your grandchildren!

I’ll add new activities here as they get created, developed, and field tested.