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JustaGrandma

How many long distant Grandparents are here?

18 posts in this topic

What have you learned and does it work? I'm about to become one. Really always have been as my gk lived a couple of hours from us and their parents kept us a bay for the most part anyway.

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I have to drive a couple of hours to go to the nearest mall.  A couple of hours isn't really "long distance" to me, but I have a GD who is only 30 minutes away and I don't see much of her either.

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Right there is more than one way to be a "long distance" grandparent only now mine are not going to be just a couple hours away now they are going to be cross country. So now I won't see them at all threw the holiday's I may not have seen them on the actual holiday but I did see them at some point. Some how I don't think watching a video of you gk's opening gifts is going to be the same and watching them in person and getting the hugs after.

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I'm interested to see what people have to say.  DM is going to be long distance to our LO, so I'm trying to think of things to help her be involved in baby's life from so far away.

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When 3 of my 6gk were a distance away, we used SKYPE to keep in real time touch. The #2 grandboy would bring his latest project to the computer so we could discuss it. They opened presents at their birthday parties so we could watch as well...even the dog got into the act. I watched them crawl, learn to walk, feed themselves, etc. For one Christmas, the #3 grandboy had heart surgery 2 weeks before so was on house arrest to keep away outside cooties. We did our usual family Christmas Eve with that family on skype for the gift exchange opening. We put the computers on tables so we could see around each others' living room and got on with the party. 

 

I much prefer skype to face time.

 

Also, kids love to get mail....real old fashioned snail mail. So cards & notes in the mail every few weeks keeps them closer too.

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What have you learned and does it work?

 

We're LDGPs half the year because of work and travel. My parents were LDGPs a good bit of the year also. Their work, travel overseas and DB's sports kept them away often. We learned from the best, I try to remember what mom did to stay involved with our kids. Phone calls, frequent hand written US Post Office mail, gifts in the mail, tickets for events they can attend--in the mail. When we talk to them we can visit about the event we sent tickets for, the tiny gifts we sent, school, and their lessons and activities. (wasn't anything except long phone calls and mail when mom was a GP).

 

We also send them airline miles to visit us where we live and work. New stuff for them to learn and experience (travel together in a way, they see their GPs in a new location). We have a business that the kids are very interested in hearing about because it's different than anything they know other than in books. So, we facetime in pastures of heifers, counting and looking around, they're really amused by that whole big ukky messy mess.

 

We skype, facetime, email and text. We watch the same sporting events on TV and talk during breaks, or text during. We email and text pictures of everyday life back and forth -- Church, school, sports practice, breakfast lunch dinner, Friday shoes at school  ;) eta: Pets, I forgot pets. Our grands love to facetime showing us what their pets are doing, frankly boring but we can act amused. Then they want to see our pets (at home, not OOT), and this is living within 5 and 20 minutes apart. Really, little (and big) kids will show you anything if you say "oooooo, ahhhhhh".

 

We're LD Aunt and Uncle all the time. We do a bit of all the above with darling niece and nephew. It works, we're happy. DB and DSisIL are content and the kids love us to pieces. DSisIL's parents are gone for long periods fairly often, they also seem to do much of the above.

 

IOW, we make a huge effort and because of that effort we're happy as are our grands and kids.

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My GD has always lived away now it is about 12 hours, we see each other about twice a year.  I Facetime with her and am always sending her little suprises ( that my DS tells me she is interested in this or that) so I try to send her stuff I know she will like she texts me and calls me now that she is older when she was little she used to bring her toys to the computer to give them to me.

 

I send her silly cards and take an interest in her school work.  I am fortunate that my DS tries to keep me up to date so I know what she is talking about.  They are coming back late November I can't wait haven't seen them since March. 

 

It definately takes more effort on our part but I think it is worth it she knows me and we seem to have a special bond.

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Using Skype and now Facetime has helped us communicate regularly with our grandchildren in a way that is much more relaxed then a phone call. We get to see school projects, awards, drawings, a trick the dog has learned, etc. Another fun activity with our school age grands has been playing Draw Free, an Apple app much like Pictionary. My son set up an account for each of the grands, limiting those with whom they can play. Usually we exchange drawings about once a week; each drawing has a place to add a message. It is special fun just for me and these two grands.

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400 miles,6 hours straight driving away for me... which is getting longer as I have to make more

bathroom stops as I get older. Of course as I get older I get told over and over again

about blood clots if I drive too long without getting out and walking around too...

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Welcome to the Community, nelson and hairdelight! Glad you decided to join in this conversation! Hope we see you both more often!

 

@ Nelson - How wonderful that you get to communicate so regularly w/ your GC via Skype and FT! And how cool that your son has set up accounts where this can be done even more creatively. Not all parents can/will cooperate this fully w/ skyping and FT, unfortunately. But I'm glad that these parents are doing so and that you and your GC are clearly enjoying it!

 

@ hairdelight - Oh, that does sound like a long drive to me. I take it that's a matter of going to see an AC (adult child) and family (or maybe more). Is it possible to stay somewhere overnight when you go, to lessen the amount of "straight driving" time? Or for your AC, etc. to travel to you instead?

 

Hopefully, you're able to keep in touch in other ways when you're not visiting. Have you looked into Skype or FaceTime, as nelson mentioned? Do you get to exchange letters, emails, phone calls, etc? I know nothing may seem the same as being there (though some say Skype and FT are very close). But I just hope you have some ways of making contact between visits.

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What have you learned and does it work?  Next week, they'll each receive a little package in the mail, they love mail. They'll call or facetime and we'll hear how excited they are. Repeat every week until we arrive home. Try that, it works.

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Kids ADORE snail mail.....especially if they are old enough to recognize their name on the envelope/package

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We became LDGP in March of this year my GS (who are soon to be 4 and 21/2) moved out west, I was very involved with them while they lived here. I would help pick up from daycare, or

watch them while they went out. Having them so close was a true blessing. When they moved I felt like my heart was being ripped from my chest, I helped them get settled into their new house,

and I have visited at least 3 times since. We try to SKYPE but with the 3 hour time change coordenating schedules is hard, and they are active kids and don't want to sit and talk they want to play.

I am always sending them mail, hoping to keep the special bond that we have always had. I am happy that they are doing so well where they live, Now I just have to make an airplane trip and hope to be able to do that at least every couple of months. Who would have thought that these little people could come in to your life and completly fill your heart with so much love.

I am very fortunate that my DS/DIL bought a house with a 4th bedroom for GM/GD to use when we visit. They know and appreciate how much we miss the boys and have no problem letting us come and have fun with them .

Just saying all the mail and SKYPE are not a replacement for being there, you can't give hugs and kisses to a screen. Learning to cope

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My SKYPE calls always end with "blowing kisses"....the same technique I used on them when they had "no touching" moments. Both involve needing to "allow for space". The thing is, with SKYPE, facetime, snail mail, etc, is that you are still in their world/loop. So when you do visit you may tend to just pick up where you left off. The world is big, we have to adapt to the changes. 

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@ Michigan - Welcome back! I understand that this change must have been quite dramatic for you, at first, and hard to adjust to. I totally feel for you!

 

Meanwhile,  I'm glad that you and GD are "learning to cope," as you say. And that you have the presence of mind to appreciate how good this move has been for DS and family.

 

How great, too, that they have a 4th room and that they are so open to visits. Please realize that not every young family would be ok w/ visits "every couple of months." So, IMO, you are fortunate there, even though I know you may not be feeling all that fortunate, right now.

 

IMO, also, Mame has a beautiful perspective on how skyping, etc. can actually help to enrich those visits. I hope it helps. (I get that it doesn't solve the problem of time differences, etc).

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I haven't had to deal much with SKYPE time differences with kids, but have with friends all over the country. Planning trips together involves conference calls sometimes, so we'll skype. We work it around 3 hour time differences, work schedules, etc and generally make it work. For kids, since I'm the adult, I make the time difference convenient for them. Say Friday evening 7:30 their time. It may be 10:30 and past my bed time, but I want to talk to my GK, so I'll stay up an extra 1/2 hour and do that. 

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I have two of my youngest grand babies they live in Florida I never get to see them talk etc. I miss them so much. 

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3 hours ago, Emmadb10 said:

I have two of my youngest grand babies they live in Florida I never get to see them talk etc. I miss them so much. 

So sorry that you don't get to see or talk to those 2 GC, Emma! (((Hugs!)))

We usually ask members not to bring up threads that are more than 3 months old, however, unless they're the OP (original poster) or it's a "stickypost"/thread pinned (w/ a thumb tack icon) to the front of the forum. So I'm going to lock this for now. Please feel free to continue talking to us about your long distance experience, if you'd like in the following pinned thread (thank you):

 

 

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