Want to improve your mood? Connect with your grandchildren!
Yes, it’s that simple. Studies show that when grandparents develop and nurture strong bonds with their grandchildren, everybody wins. It gives adults a sense of purpose, relieves feelings of loneliness and isolation, and helps kids develop social skills and improve resilience.
If distance and busy schedules are keeping you from spending time with your grandchildren, you’re not alone. Those are the two biggest barriers according to a grandparenting study from AARP. But don’t let that stop you from building those special bonds and making the most of your time together. Whether you live near or far, there are great resources that will help you create special moments you’ll both cherish for years to come.
The Long-Distance Grandparent offers tons of resources to help you cultivate lasting connections with your grandchildren no matter the distance. Founder Dr. Kerry Byrne has studied aging, care, and family relationships for more than 20 years. She offers practical, fun, and meaningful ideas to stay in touch with grandchildren from a distance — all based on research.
You can sign up for her weekly newsletter or check out her online membership program that includes activities and games designed for video chats, expert advice about grandparenting, and a community of long-distance grandparents supporting one another.
With Playdatebox, you can up the playful interactions with your grandchildren. The company was co-founded by two grandmothers who help build a supply of age-appropriate games and activities you can enjoy with your grandkids — even if you live miles apart. Simply put, these grandmothers are all about bringing more play into your relationship. They offer activities, an online play library, and playdate boxes. Subscribe to their free newsletter to receive creative playdate ideas each month.
More Than Grand is an online resource full of honest, tested advice and valuable ideas for strengthening the bonds with both your grandchildren and their parents. Founder DeeDee Moore focuses on how important it is to be a grandparent. A signature guide for new grandparents is available, and there’s a community for grandparents on Facebook and Instagram where you’ll have access to articles, information, and other helpful resources.
For Grandparents on the Go
It’s not just grandchildren who have busy schedules with school, playdates, and other activities. Many grandparents today are still in the workforce and those in retirement stay busy with travel, socializing, and activities of their own. Whether you’re running errands, working out, or traveling to see your grandkids, podcasts are another great source of ideas and information.
The Adventures with Grammy podcast is for grandparents on the go with their grandkids, as well as for parents who want their children to enjoy loving relationships across the generations. Episodes have included discussions on connecting with your teenage grandchildren, pickleball and how you can play it with your grandkids, and dyslexia from a child’s perspective.
In the Go-To Grandma podcast, award-winning author, mom-of-four, and grandma-of-two Kathy Buckworth talks with guest experts and shares information about subjects all grandparents want to hear about — from new parenting techniques to food, technology, travel, fitness and health, and family relationships.
Wow in the World is a podcast for kids and the grownups who love them. The hosts share stories about the latest news in science, technology, and innovation. Listen with your grandchild — or listen on your own and wow them with fun facts the next time you chat.
If you’re looking for non-technical options, go old-school. Send them a card or note in the mail. Better yet, invite them to be your pen pal.
Draw, paint, or color a picture, either in person or together on a video chat. Bake their favorite cookie recipe, or introduce them to a cookie you loved when you were younger.
It doesn’t matter if you have a few minutes, a few hours, or a few days with your grandchild. Building and maintaining a special bond is a surefire way to make any day a little brighter — for you and for them.