The best way to Keep Near Grandkids Who Have a Busy Schedule

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Spending even a week with Grandma can help strengthen relationships in ways that are more difficult to achieve on fly-by visits, and make up some of the distance.

In the fifth or sixth grade, many children have cell phones, and younger children can send messages on tablets or computers. they no longer need parents as intermediaries or mediators.

At least once a week, Betsy Buchalter Adler and her husband write to their 14-year-old grandson, who lives hours from their home in Pacific Grove, California. “He has to answer a call,” she explained. “We don’t interrupt with a text message.” They keep their banter light and funny, sometimes with memes and photos; he answers when he wants.

“We want him to know that we are behind him, and texting is the least intrusive way of showing him that,” said Ms. Adler.

Other grandparents mentioned that they use WhatsApp, Google Hangouts, FaceTime, and Skype to keep in touch.

One precaution: parents set the rules for children’s devices and we must respect them. “We want parents to feel comfortable with the role of grandparents and not feel questioned,” advised Dr. Dunifon.

If the grandchildren don’t come to you, it doesn’t mean you can’t spend time together. The lynches show up at games, song recitals, concerts – whatever their grandchildren join in. They applaud, express their pride, and then take the children out to eat or have a treat.

The entry into children’s worlds works particularly well with common interests. Ms. Reece confessed that her attempt to learn the video game Minecraft, a favorite of her 11-year-old grandson in St. Petersburg, Florida, has completely failed. But he loves to take pictures and sends her the ones he is especially proud of; You both follow a favorite photographer on Instagram. When they are together, ordinary walks turn into photo excursions. The framed photos she sent as a Christmas present are now hanging in his room.

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