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Long-Distance Grandparent Tips for Maintaining the Best Relationships

In this podcast episode we talk about the difficulties of establishing grandchild relationships when they don’t live close by. We give lots of tips on how to make and maintain close bonds with them.

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Full Transcript of Podcast

Jim 0:02
Welcome to our weekly podcast Modern Grandparenting, where we discuss issues that grandparents must deal with in this changing world, for maintaining the best relationships with both our children and our grandchildren, to give you all kinds of ideas of what to do all year long, and hopefully making memories that will last a lifetime. In this episode, we talked about being a long distance grandparent. According to an AARP study, long distance relationships are really quite common. In fact, over half of all grandparents have at least one grandchildren who is more than 200 miles away, and about a third live more than 50 miles from Nicholas’s grandchild. This can make it difficult to bond and really get to know your grandchildren.

Corinne 0:43
This is an important issue for Gemini because we started this podcast, and our entire website actually with long distance grandparenting in mind, and Gemini have sort of a strange, a typical life history. We met married in the airforce and we continue to live overseas working for the US military for well over 20 years. In fact, we just moved back to the States, June of 2020. So we married we had our children, we raised our children. And then they even flew the nest and went home to college and everything else, as we were still living overseas. So we know what it’s like to raise kids with grandparents far away. And one of the reasons we did retire when we did and came back was because Erica had said she wanted to have us have a relationship with her child, because she felt that she never really had much of a relationship with her grandparents, which is hard to do, it was even harder than you might think social media is, I don’t know, just horrible. But let me tell you something, when you have your first baby, and you’re all excited, and you pay over $600 to call your parents to let them know that the baby was born. Because of long distance phone rates, you’re gonna learn quickly how good we have it today. And we couldn’t afford it. We could not afford 600 bucks we were we were poor. And that’s

Jim 2:18
not for a long conversation either. That was 10 minutes each man’s each. Yeah, we didn’t get to do much long distance with our kids and their grandparents.

Corinne 2:28
So it’s, it’s it’s a, it’s an issue that’s near and dear to our hearts. And on top of them. We still like to travel. That’s, you know, one of our things that has kept us together for so long and made us who we are today. And we don’t want to give that up. So we

Jim 2:46
have a great relationship with AJ already. And we can use and anybody can use all of these long distance grandparenting tips and techniques. during travel, it’s not just because you live far away, but whenever you’re not there, exactly, keep it up.

Corinne 3:05
Exactly. Because I’m sure every grandparent thinks that their grandparents are their grandchildren The most important thing to them, and they want to find ways to stay connected. And we all know to as grandbabies grow up, you know, there’s different issues that you need to deal with what’s more important to them family or friends. You know, what’s more important to the teenagers when they get to teenage years? Well, it’s definitely friends and going out at night and, and going to dances and doing the cheerleading and sports things. And then they get to college. And it’s a whole new ballgame. So it even if you live close to your grandkids now, these are strategies, we hope to give you some ideas that will keep you connected to your grandchild their entire lives for a tire so that you can maintain the best and just be and continue to be no matter if they’re two or 42. So So did you want to tell him thing about your grandparents and you’re really how much of a relationship even with my own grandpa and you lived overseas because I sort of lived the life that we were doing? Well, I didn’t always live overseas get

Jim 4:24
cards or letters or anything. Um, well, back

Corinne 4:27
then snail mail was more of a thing back of the, you know, a few decades ago. Decades ago. But no, I was thinking about this as I was preparing for the podcast, actually. And I was thinking, did I ever receive a letter from a grandparent? Now I definitely received Happy birthday cards right? But now I I honestly do not think I ever received a letter from a grandparent

Jim 4:56
and our parents did pretty good with that too. birthday cards, and but not a whole lot of snail now.

Corinne 5:04
And you know one of the things I think grandparents like to identify themselves as is the history keeper, the mentor, the person who is, hey, you are freaking old now, you earned your wise bat, right? Like that’s who you’re supposed to be supposed to be imparting that knowledge. I’m the younger generations. And I feel like that’s something that every grandparent wants to do, did

Jim 5:31
have a pretty good relationship with your grandmother, at

Corinne 5:36
least I had one grandmother. My other grandmother I didn’t. I met a couple of times, both my grandfather’s died before I was before, I was really cognizant of life. And so I had one, I would say, decent relationship with my grandmother. She was the one person that when we would go on vacation, we would visit her she had a few more means than the other grandparents. So she definitely came to visit us more often. I would not say that it was that it was it wasn’t a relationship that was ongoing. I mean, she just really treated me well, when I was there. And I have great memories of her. Yeah. And I mean, I wish I had more relationship with her. But it was just it was very hard. Yeah, it’s important to me this long distance thing. How about you?

Jim 6:31
Yeah, well, my grandmother and grandfather, both passed before I was too old, my grandfather first. And so they didn’t live far away from us when I was very young. We were in Huntington Beach, they were in Long Beach. So that’s not that’s just a drive away. I didn’t even know that. And so we could we, I think we visited them fairly commonly as very young children. But I was too young to really remember. And then my grandfather passed away. Again, I have very few memories of him. My grandmother lived longer. And we moved to Northern California. So we moved away. And she became a long distance grandparent. And she came to visit once or twice that I can recall. But yeah, no, after we moved away, no, no context and communication. Not. Not with you. Right? Not with me that I can Yeah, that’s the way I look at a family with a kid. Right? And, you know, my grandmother had other children with kids that were closer. And so I think that took up more of our time. And then she suffered from senility as she got older. So instead

Corinne 7:45
of my grandmother, right, Mary, for us is

Jim 7:49
more difficult. So yeah, not much. And then I found out much later in life that I had another grandfather, to me never really knew my mom had been estranged from for a long time. And then she made contact and got back in touch with that part of her family, much later in life, but I never met him.

Corinne 8:11
He was never part of your life, for sure.

Jim 8:15
And so really, the long distancing that we’re more familiar with, I guess, it’s our parents, and the way they dealt with our children. And it

Corinne 8:24
was actually as good as they

Jim 8:28
considering technology of the times and the cost of, of electronic communication.

Corinne 8:36
In fact, that’s what I think we should talk about Max’s sort of the challenges that you deal with when you have long distance when you’re trying to maintain a long distance relationship. For one thing, there’s the loneliness, I think, well, the AARP study actually says that one of the problems that grandparents have in general, is loneliness, or feeling disconnected either from their family, and especially their grandkids, or when they live far away, especially when they live far away. Sometimes they don’t have to be so far, but it’s, as we’ve talked about in all of our podcasts, it’s a new world, it is a new way of dealing with things and grandparents have to step up. They really have to sort of embrace technology in order to stay connected with grab it by the horns. Yeah. And there’s a lot of grit, in fact, 60% of grandparents today are, are technically able to do it. The it’s not that they’re not technically able. It’s that it’s not something that’s part of their routine routine and their everyday life and because they didn’t grow up with it. It’s not something they write, they lean towards, but if they do, it’s amazing

Jim 9:59
how I think they’re gonna find that their grandchildren and their children have, have incorporated technology into their daily routine. Exactly. And having one more person in, in that line of communication is not a challenge for them, it’s more of a challenge for the grandparent to get it going. And maybe a little bit of trepidation of Not, not sure if, if they can step into that, or not,

Corinne 10:26
there’s a lot to do with technology. And, and as you know, from our website, that’s one of our strongest themes, or we have it to be is talking about, not just what apps are out there and how to use them, but the safety of it. And, and like in this particular podcast, the how the abundance of it is really good for you. And there really are choices to make there really so that you can choose what’s best for you and, and your grandkids or maybe have them choose is probably more likely the way it’ll go. Another challenge that we’ll have, but first

Jim 11:04
of all that loneliness can be pretty debilitating sometimes, especially in these last couple of years. With the pandemic pandemic crazy long distance grandparent could be across town and for the longest time, you can visit them they can visit you. So really a lot of this was it was important. But for those grandparents who do live far away, you know, it’s it kind of goes along with asking for more grandchildren. You don’t want to ask your your children to move closer to you. Oh, you

Corinne 11:38
can’t get more time with grandchildren.

Jim 11:40
Yeah, yeah, you’re

Corinne 11:41
definitely absolutely not moving. It’s got to be you guys

Jim 11:46
might want to go the other way. Might be a good time to start looking at downsizing and

Corinne 11:51
retiring like we did. Specifically a grandchild. We did it. Yeah. And downsizing. Another huge thing is that the workforce is getting older. Baby Boomers are still in the workforce. We retired young ourselves. We retired at what 56 and 55. Right. Yeah. Which is which is a maybe too young. But it’s it’s also not necessarily the norm. There’s people working well into their 70s

Jim 12:22
retired with a pension plan. So exactly have something we have that income coming in, and we were able to retire. So there’s two things that we’re talking about opportunity and they have to keep working.

Corinne 12:37
Yeah, it’s which. So what I was, that’s the whole point is a lot of people are still working. Yeah, there’s a lot the huge amount of grandparents are still in the workforce, which makes it difficult for scheduling for visiting, for just combining schedules, even for video calls. Because everybody’s busy. You hear that word all the time. I’m too busy. I’m so busy, I can’t get anything done. I’ve got too much on my plate I might challenge time is a huge challenge. I think it’s always a huge challenge. But I think when you’re trying to carve out time to really make a difference in your grandchild’s life who who may live too far for you to go visit on a regular basis. It’s just as difficult to really meld those schedules and you have to work at it you really got to make it a priority I think falls short and

Jim 13:37
I think we’ve talked about it later. But the time that you need to spend doesn’t necessarily need to be a large amount of time at once.

Corinne 13:46
Now in fact, I like he said I think I mentioned it later but I have a quote from my psychologist that said frequency is more important than longevity not longevity is I mean you shouldn’t be consistent so longevity that you don’t give it up type of thing. But not longevity in like a phone call. Because really you have to worry about kids developmental ages.

Jim 14:10
Three times a week is better than make it quality.

Corinne 14:12
It’s once a week yeah, but we’ll get a little bit more into that in a few minutes.

Jim 14:16
Well another thing with time is it can be more difficult to take the step to make that call after a lot of time has elapsed. And so you know, more time has gone by more time has gone by and now it’s it can become difficult to pick up the phone because well you know, I haven’t called in so long and I feel bad about it.

Corinne 14:40
Get with Yes. Get over it. Get over it quickly. Some ways that people keep in touch, of course are you using phones and calling the old fashioned way where you just talk on the phone. Some people are using texting and a lot of people now are using video chats which I personally love and feel Facebook, you know, as far as not only the FaceTime on it, but as far as just being on each other’s profiles and saying and always making comments on their posts, and even if you don’t comment and you just give them that thumbs up or that heart, at least you’re showing that you’re there A and B, you know what’s going on in their lives. So there’s a lot of good things. Nowadays, a lot of people are even on tik tok. I’m sure you’ve seen a few whether you like them or not. A lot of grants have done them as well, sure. Yes, exactly. You want to, if you like dancing, tick tock shirt style,

Jim 15:39
let’s stay away from the milk grade challenge. As a grandparent, you don’t need to go there.

Corinne 15:45
Well, there’s a lot of most of those challenges you don’t need to go there for. But there’s so many things, it’s like we were saying there are games that you can play together, even though you’re miles apart, we have one that we love coke a time and you just sign up at the same time and play the game. And it doesn’t matter where you are, they can join it’s a lot of thought of that. So there’s, there’s lots of different things that you can do, you just got to find out what their what your grandkids are interested in. And what you’re interested in that you can, you know, actually do and want to do. Um, there’s chess games and checker games, and you name it and card games and all kinds of things that you could do. And make it short, have a little chat while you’re playing the game. And boom, you’re done. It’s awesome.

Jim 16:35
There’s Yeah, there’s reading apps. Oh, really. Now we can read books together or read to them. It can also be as simple as just starting a private Facebook group, for your family where everybody can just chip in and, you know, give advice, ask questions, ask for advice. Just say hello.

Corinne 16:56
Exactly, if to be easier than phone call. And you know, these are all things that we plan on, on putting out there for you to find out more about both Gemini. As teachers, part of what we did was technology, teaching kids technology and teaching families, technology and how to keep in touch with the schools and creative things to do with technology. So this is really up our alley. And and we love it. It’s something that we love doing. If there’s something that you’re interested in IE, you know, how do you get on Tick Tock in dance with your grandkids? Well, we’re going to have videos for that app on our website. So just stay tuned, and hopefully join our newsletter. And you’ll find out all about these things as they come along.

Jim 17:43
Yeah, we’ve already got quite a few up there.

Corinne 17:45
We have a few, quite a few.

Jim 17:47
But as we come across them, I’m sure.

Corinne 17:52
And if there’s something you’re interested in, please ask. So there’s another thing that is again near and dear to our hearts. And that is travel, of course travel and traveling with our kids and our grandkids. Now we were always those parents that traveled with our children. We as I just stated, We lived overseas our entire kids lives basically. So we were traveling, that’s what we did

Jim 18:18
one of our first trips, as a family with a child. When Devin was five months old, five months old. We all climbed into our little Volkswagen Polo, we were living in Germany at the time. We got our tent, we had our tent, we had our campstove sleeping bags. And down the road. We went head south into Italy, and then the French Riviera. And along this planet Jessel along the Spanish coast of the Mediterranean, and just a fantastic five week trip. Very, very little infant and plans old Yeah, yeah. And it was a great time. Now does she remember it? Of course not. Of course not. But you know, we have those photographs. And it’s part of the family lore this this road trip with a five month old. And we didn’t stop there. Of course, yeah.

Corinne 19:14
That was just the first with children. And we’ve had many since and we’ve done, we’ve done it all really we’ve done it with extended family, huge groups. We’ve done it with small groups, we’ve done it with other people, children, and when we didn’t even have children. We’ve done we’ve taken groups of Girl Scouts places, we literally have done it all when it comes to traveling with children. And I’m here to tell you, and this is not a travel podcast, but please travel, please travel with your children or grandchildren.

Jim 19:47
Experience, you know, the world and different cultures and how people get along and just helping to understand other people and that’s its parents role, I think, isn’t it To provide those experiences if they can, it’s an I don’t travel with the whole family, you can travel right with just the grandkids. In fact, that’s something that my dad and my stepmother attempted to really embraced, I think

Corinne 20:17
they wanted to do it, but then they always seem to get out of hand. And they would always be people there that went

Jim 20:23
off trips for a graduating senior, and let the graduate, choose where they want it to go. And then off, they would go, and they’d have these really great trips. But but with Craig is talking about is because they’re traveling overseas, and then these great trips, you know, everybody wanted to come along. So it didn’t always end up with just the grandchild, children’s. But that is a great way to do it, find those special opportunities to get the grandkids going along and involve them in the planning right away, make it more like their trip than your trip. And just take them out and have fun. Well, Jen traveled,

Corinne 21:13
yes, skip Gen. And that’s when the parents don’t come along. It’s just you with the grandkids. And you know, there’s even tours that allow you to do that there’s a few places out there that will take you in your grandkids and help you set it up that basically pay your pay or whatever amount of money, and they will take you to places like the Galapagos or Paris, and they’ll do they’ll do a lot altogether. And then they’ve got a few things that are just for the kids. And just for the older people.

Jim 21:42
Let’s face it as our bodies get older, and our backs and knees aren’t what they used to be. Yeah, it’s kind of nice to have someone move in your bags, I guess.

Corinne 21:52
I don’t know if they move all their bags for them. They might answer mom, but I don’t know. But anyway, I think the biggest thing about traveling with your grandchildren, or traveling with anybody, actually, is that you get time away from normal life. Now used to be when you know, cell phones weren’t a thing. Back in the days of the of the rotary phone, or the push button phone that was attached to your house. You know, yes. Wasn’t it irritating when the phone rang during dinner, right? And everybody would always jump up and go get the phone and interrupt this beautiful family dinner, whatever. And that used to irritate me nowadays, we can’t get away from this stuff. It’s everywhere all the time. But when you want to trip when you’re traveling, even here in the States has happened to Jim and me so many times. I can’t even tell you. Just recently we were down on the Olympic Peninsula just last weekend, and we did not have cell service the majority of the time. Sure you get out into those national parks. Yeah, that’s right. So what do you have you have each other and you can play cards, I mean, you can talk and, you know, just driving to get there, you have lots of time to talk about everything. So you get this, this time, this golden time, that is so hard to find when you’re back at home, and everybody’s running off to do their thing, doing errands and shopping and you’re getting ready for school or whatever they’re doing. But you have this golden, like, time that’s just there for you to get to know each other and have fun and laugh and tell stories. To be that’s the that’s the number one reason to travel. But I think it’s one good thing that you can do. And definitely if you kids, your grandkids live far away. It’s a good, try and get them. I mean, we understand about budgets, and we understand that it’s hard sometimes to figure out that, you know, flying to London or flying even to you know, California or New York can be expensive, but you know, you only get to see your grandchildren as grin was little kids

Jim 24:11
and give her experience is Yeah, I

Corinne 24:15
was traveling with them, but traveling to them as well. I mean, sure,

Jim 24:18
yeah, the travel can be like you said it doesn’t have to be to London or Paris. It could be to them to spend time with them or have them traveled to you to spend time with you.

Corinne 24:29
Yeah. there there’s lots of things that you can do. And this is where we were saying that, um, that you want to find ways that are consistent, right? Anybody who’s raised kids and all grandparents have raised kids, right? You know, that there are a few things that kids need. They need repetition. They need consistency, and they need things changed up every once in a while. You know, they need to go outside. They need to have fun, maybe good food to eat. They need stories they need love they need they do need these things. These are all parts of bonding

Jim 25:15
over and over and over and over and again.

Corinne 25:17
Yeah, so I love this quote, and I thought, well, I could paraphrase it. But you know what this quote that I pulled from the psychologist is so well written that I think we should just read it. You want to read it, or you want me to?

Jim 25:30
I can read it. Okay. Well, she says that young children love repetition. That’s how they learn. They want to watch Little Mermaid 20 times and read the same book over and over. I can attest to that. Yeah, it’s a rare parent who doesn’t get bored after weeks of playing the same game. grandparents have an advantage here. The movies, songs, books, and games that the child repeats endlessly at home, are new and fresh to long distance grandparents. And aging gives us the gift of greater patience, a slower pace, and appreciation of little things. The grandchild has the perfect audience in the grandparents. So that’s kind of your role as a grandparent, is to be that audience. Yeah, and AJ has a couple of books that he just

Corinne 26:13
he wants the same books it when he’s in LA, you understand that I have my favorites too. I do. We all have our routine. Even as humans love routine. As a middle

Jim 26:23
aged man, I have stories that I read, repeated, I can

Corinne 26:27
attest to that. Anyway, the point is, they love reputation. And it is really nice that you can step in there and listen to their book, whether they’re reading it, or you read it to them. And it’s not going to get old, because it’s just wonderful. It’s just wonderful that you have that opportunity to do it online, or in person. And it made me not just books, but videos and any of that stuff. Well, and

Jim 26:57
it’s true. I mean, you that’s how you learn things. One way you learn things is through repetition. You have to do something, what 13

Corinne 27:06
the last I read the guess the number keeps going up, folks. It’s hilarious in education, the number keeps going up. I’m not sure if that’s because people are good people are getting not so smart in the future. Or, or if we just have so much I think it’s more in indentation in either your mandated with information all the time that you might not catch it more of a repetition, you know, so what’s the number now, a minimum of 18 times 10 times before you can for like a word to understand what a word is. You have to hear it, you have to use it. And you have to be famous, you know, you have to use it and say it hear it over and over and over in contacts at least 18 times in order for you to really know what it is.

Jim 27:56
So I don’t really care if AJ memorizes or learns Gazi the Gosling, because he’s heard it 18 times he’s heard it more than he’s hearing language and the process of reading and getting so much out of it just because it’s the same book. But there’s more to read. It doesn’t matter to me. I really love reading with him. So that’s right.

Corinne 28:19
And why do you love reading with him because he’s sitting on your lap, because you’re snuggling together. Because you

Jim 28:25
are giving undivided attention. He’s getting undivided attention. It’s a special time for him. And sometimes that lasts for the whole book, and maybe another book, and sometimes it lasts for five minutes. And that’s okay, too.

Corinne 28:40
Whatever he wants is fine. And whatever the child wants is fine. And you know what? This happened while we were on our huge road trip, we called AJ, we called him every day, because we believe in Him frequently. And yeah, we video call them. And one time, mom was reading him a book that he loves, and she’s ready to him a lot of times. And so I said, we’ll start reading them. And then he saw that we were interested, and he kind of, it’s kind of interesting, we kind of push the book away from mom, like he wanted us to read it. So mom had to hold the book up a little bit so that we can see the words and we read the words to him. And I just, I mean, how precious is that? It’s it shows you how important it and like Jim said, it’s not it. He does love that book that we were reading, but it’s not just the book. It’s all the other actions that go along with it. It’s it’s that togetherness, it’s the togetherness, yeah. Okay, so

Jim 29:42
what are some other things

Corinne 29:45
reading is very easy to do online. You can do that over and over again. I think going back to letters, you know, I it’s very difficult for me to sit down and handwrite anything nowadays. I am definitely that technology person that I do everything typing long ago, long, long ago, how ever insane that if you can think back to when you were a kid and how special it was, when you receive something in the mail, if it’s still special, it’s still special. And there’s a couple ways you can do if you’re long distance grandchildren, you can by blank greeting cards, you know the ones that just have a picture on it, or maybe a cartoon or whatever. And you can send them to the child to have them write to you. And you can do the same back. And what’s nice about a card is that there’s limited space, it’s not this huge blank notebook full of paper, and you sit there looking at and go, Oh, I’m gonna say like Grandma, you know. And so you can even if you just send something on a card that asks one question, and you tell them, one thing that happened in your day, about how you how you tripped over the sidewalk, back in our day, remember that you can step on the crack, you break your brother’s Mac, so maybe maybe you could write your grandson and say, Have you stepped up? And what’s been going on? You know? Or does your mother is your mother been complaining of back pain because I stepped on the crack the other day or something like that. And something very simple and cute. And, and it doesn’t have to take a whole lot of brainpower or effort

Jim 31:27
and turn around like said and ask the question. In your closing, you know, what’s funny thing that happened to you lately? Or what’s an embarrassing that happened to you lately? Or a scary thing? A question that gets them to tell a story, not just a response to the question. And that gives them something to write about.

Corinne 31:50
So anyway, I think buying cards or writing family letters occasionally is a good idea. We also have plenty, so it can be once every other month or Yeah,

Jim 32:01
more often than a holiday, though, that’s really the key. And that kind of goes along with, you know, sending a small package, do you really want to send the package at Christmas, or their birthday. And that’s, that’s what it’s almost expected. So it doesn’t really have as much effect on the relationship as something just out of the blue. You know, and it can be something that can help you with the communication process. Like you could get a coloring book that you send to your grandchild and you have the same coloring book. So you can work on coloring page the same time and compare notes and, and you know, see who’s came out? Which one came out good or bad? Or what would you do different. Or it could be a small craft kit that you both work on at the same time. And you do that over a video call.

Corinne 32:56
Make up something as simple as just sending to McDonald’s Happy Meal toy. And you know, and a little note saying, you know, I missed you when I saw this and I had to get it because I got the happy meal for you. You know, really, it doesn’t matter usually what comes in the mail something

Jim 33:14
in the mail. Yeah, anyway, that that free wall drugs bumper sticker that you picked up with your five cent coffee,

Corinne 33:21
and your wife will let you put it on the trailer. But who doesn’t want a wall to wall drugs? Coffee, I mean sticker. Okay, so then the other thing is, of course, video calls. And we have we do have quite a bit of information. And we’re gonna continue to add that to our website about video calls, right? You can do a different age levels. But I think one of the hardest things about it, again, is the scheduling. So one of the things you might want to think about doing is really talking to mom and dad. And finding out when they have time to do this, right? We have friends. We have friends who are video call. I don’t know, like fanatics, fanatics. And the good they’re obsessed with it. And they are so good at it. And their kids, of course, have grown up to a net. So they’re good at it as well. And

Jim 34:16
so they have good scheduled times. And wait everybody involved, right. And then I think the real key is to give each of the grandchildren separate time and each of the children separate time for that matter to call you Your Kids Children, if their parents of your grandchildren. I mean they’re still my child, right? Yeah. So yeah,

Corinne 34:42
I struggle with what to call and we do and we you know, we always say the kids beaming our daughters and their husbands, not our grandkids from those we call. I don’t know. I don’t know what we call them. We call them the babies, the grandkids. But anyway,

Jim 34:57
having that separate time Jim’s got it. So it’s just that special time with them is key.

Corinne 35:01
Jim, I think what Jim is saying is is so important that a video call can be an often should be like, let’s say you’re calling on Thanksgiving or Christmas, and you need to say hi to everybody and maybe open a present together, then let’s all five of you, or 10 of you camera back there together, and that’s okay too. But that is not going to bond you with your grandchild. Whether you have one, or you have three, or whatever the amount is, it, it’s so nice to be able to get to know each of them individually. So if you can work it out, it’d be nice to have that video call, just with little Jamie or just with little Tommy and nobody else. It’s their special time. Nobody, nobody else has to have anything to do with it. And there’s lots of ideas of what to do with you, when you’re on a video call with them. You can like we said replay game, what have you. And sometimes a mom or dad has to be present as well, because let’s say you’re baking together, I have a friend, actually one of my prior students. I had her when she was in fourth grade, and she’s now in high school. But she has, from the time she lived in Germany where I had her as a student, she made friends with one of the teachers there. And every week, and they’ve done this for like five years now, every week they get together and bake together on video calls. And they’re not even it’s not even their grandparent, it’s just a teacher, maybe like a surrogate grandparent, like a surrogate grandparent. And the thing is, they’re very good at it. And at first when she was younger mom paid more attention, of course to the oven and making sure she wasn’t gonna get hurt or anything. So sometimes you might want to have the parent available for that. Or if you’re going or if you want to go for a walk outside and talk about the leaves or whatever. You know, it’s nice to have mom and dad with him or an older child. But really, it’s it’s also just nice to be able to call that one child and age appropriately. Talk to them. But we have lots on video console, we’ll talk more about it. Another thing that I think is important is knowing each child.

Jim 37:31
Yeah, well, if you do have those 20 grandchildren, well, you might want to start a little database. And but but no, you know, you want to keep some notes on what’s going on in their lives. You know, who are their teachers? What are they doing in school right now? So that you have those things to talk about with each one individually? And it’s more more specific, more pertinent to the child? That way, it’s not quite so generic or boring.

Corinne 38:02
Well, we all have those those phone calls, how are you?

Jim 38:05
How are you?

Corinne 38:07
What’s going on?

Jim 38:07
How’s school, PA school,

Jim 38:09
you know, that’s not going to generate much conversation. Yeah, and that’s the whole point is to get get more into the child’s life. What does that? What does that funny Miss Smith doing now in class?

Corinne 38:24
Or maybe they have a funny student in class, or maybe they’re really into ballet. And you know, they’re learning how to pair a ladder, maybe they’re interested in their intercross scouts. And what bags are they working on, maybe there’s something you can help them on with their badge work. It’s a good idea just to keep a few notes about what’s happening that’s important to them, whether it’s an event, or just their likes and dislikes, it’ll help you with gift buying when that time comes around. It’ll also help you to maintain those conversations that are a little bit more rich, and more interesting. I think another thing that’s really important, especially, especially for the grandparents, and depending on the kid, sometimes the grandchildren as well, is they really just love hearing stories,

Jim 39:16
right? When we talk about that and how the historian role is really important for a grandparent

Corinne 39:23
and we’ve talked about this a lot. They want to hear stories about when they were babies, they want to hear story about when you were little when their parents were little, you have such a wealth of information and such a different life that you live that they are living, that it’s just amazing. And so maybe think about some of the things that have changed during your lifetime and, and maybe think of something kind of fun to tell them about. Like I said, like phones for example. I think phones are a good example.

Jim 39:55
Or something that’s seasonal, you know, something that’s that you recall from The past that happened in the fall or in the winter.

Corinne 40:04
And sometimes those stories that you’ve told a million times, the grandchildren still haven’t heard them. Or if they have, they like hearing other like repetition, and they like reputation. So you can tell them again,

Jim 40:14
they won’t get bored of it like everybody else does. But there’s not until they are teenagers.

Corinne 40:19
But there’s lots and lots and lots of things you can do. One thing that I read about recently, and I want to do this with AJ, and I don’t think it matters that he’s near or far is that you have a signal, a special little signal that you and the grandchild have, and is your secret, kind of like a handshake, but you don’t touch each other. So that you can do it far away, you can do it over video. Or you could do it at a maybe they’re in a band concert, and they glanced up at you. And instead of just a wave, you can give them your little signal you can do I love you or you can do maybe your cheeks out like I’m really getting ready to give you the biggest kissflow biggest kiss or who knows whatever you guys choose to do. You pick it together, and then it’s use yours and that grandchild action and the call every time. Yeah, and again, it’s the repetition. At any rate, um, we’re going to come back to this theme many times because we believe that grandparents and people as you get older, all you want to do is maintain that family relationship, you want to have those rich memories, you want to hand down your stories to your grandkids and, and maybe great kanki or grandkids or whatever.

Jim 41:40
And we know there’s so many challenges that can get in the way. And that’s really where we want to help. So those technology, advice or apps that we can help you with all that stuff.

Corinne 41:55
So hop on to our Facebook private group, there’s a link all over the place. Whether you got it on iTunes, and you know, in iTunes or wherever you can link to our website and there there’s a place to sign up for our newsletter. You can sign up for our private Facebook group, a lot of grandparenting so that you can ask questions or just say what you do and give us some ideas. We love that. Whatever it is, we hope you’re enjoying yourself. We thank you so much for listening. Thanks for listening. Please hit subscribe, tell your friends and happy grand

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