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Narrowing the distance with your far-flung family

Created date

October 25th, 2011

My daughter lives near me and so I see her children quite frequently. But my son moved to Canada and I see his family much less often. Having 50% of my family near me makes me quite lucky. These days, so many families are dispersed all over the country. And grandchildren, who may go away to college and find they want to settle in that area, have a way of seeding themselves anywhere and everywhere where you, the grandparents, aren t! So how do you stay connected?

Ways to keep in touch

There are a million new ways to communicate these days, but not everyone is computer literate. But you don t have to be technically savvy to use some of the avenues available to you to stay in touch. Today, young people text more than talk on the phone, so they just don t think to call. Assuming you have a cell phone, have someone teach you how to send a simple text. It s not hard. And then text your grandchildren, Call me. They may text you back, I ll call in an hour, but you ll get a reply and that s what is important. Write letters to your grandchildren telling them what you re doing. Try to make your letters as interesting as possible by telling stories, including those about your past. Humans have been exchanging information through storytelling for thousands of years, so we re actually wired to learn through storytelling. They ll look forward to your letters and even if they re mostly a one-way means of communicating, it keeps the lines of communication open. And if you don t know about Skype, then you must learn. Skype software gives you free video phone calls on your computer, so you can not only talk to the other person but also see them on screen. You don t have to be computer savvy to use Skype. And even if you don t have a computer, maybe a relative or friend nearby does, so then you can make appointments to Skype your grandchildren. Being able to see them on the computer screen won t replace personal visits, but it s still a wonderful way to stay in touch.