Grandparents and Grandchildren: Grandparenting From A Distance
by John E. Turner, LMFT and Sally R. Connolly, LMFT
John and I had one of our children move to Hawaii a few years ago. While we made ourselves visit once a year while they were there, we also wanted to find ways to remain connected to our young grandson, Josh.
When we visited, we made sure to repeat some of our regular rituals with him, like getting out John’s childhood train and putting it up at Christmas. (We substituted a different one, of course.) We also had special “bonding” time alone with Josh as well as with his parents. We invited Josh to spend a few nights with us at a nearby hotel. We had great fun swimming, walking along the beach and eating meals together … a little “appropriate” grandparent spoiling. We often tried to incorporate a special holiday during a visit … and we took lots of pictures that we gave him, framed and sent in later notes.
We, of course, read lots to and with Josh and, after returning from one of our visits we bought a story book and began reading nightly tales for him on a tape. We sent them to Josh so that he could go to sleep at night … or for his naps, while listening to us reading a story. His mother said that he loved hearing us read to him … and talked about it a lot.