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Long-distance grandparenting - need ideas

Long-distance grandparenting - need ideas

Old Mar 18th 2010, 3:26 am
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DDL
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Question Long-distance grandparenting - need ideas

Within the next 4-6 months, I will be saying good-bye to my adult children and 3 young grandsons (Zach is 10; Nich & Josh, the twins, are 8). We live in the same town.

Yesterday was one of those "I can't wait for the adventure to begin" but tonight is one of those "How in the world can I leave the boys?"

I was thinking of making up a small box for each of them with stamped, pre-addressed envelopes containing a blank sheet of paper; and I know about the marvels of web cams and the internet/email in general, but what are some of the other ways that my grandparenting colleagues use to help ease the pain of separation from their grandchildren?

P.S. One thing I was thinking of doing before I leave is buying them a globe and showing them where I will be living; also supplying them with picture books of England ... and of course, pictures of me!

Last edited by DDL; Mar 18th 2010 at 3:28 am. Reason: Added P.S.
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Old Mar 18th 2010, 4:23 am
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Default Re: Long-distance grandparenting - need ideas

Hi

My childrens Granny (in Scotland and we are in NZ at the moment) and their Aunt send over magazines and chocolates and things quite often.

I let the kids phone (right time allowing) when they want, and sometimes (my mother-in-law isn't so computer savy) we phone and talk her through turning on her web cam - then just leave them too it.

I would guess that it will be a little easier for you as your grandsons are older.
My children were 3.5 yrs, 2 yrs and 6 weeks when we came out here - so the relationship wasn't cemented (if at all) for some of them.).

But honestly wee parcels or letters or cards in the post are what my kids love the most from overseas. They are always asking if something came for them in the post today. It seems to be far more exciting than a phone call.

Mine are now at the stage where they can write wee letters (well the eldest by herself) and make cards which we then send back.

My 10yr old nephew (in Scotland - with 8yr old twin brothers) has just got an old mobile phone off his parents. And when my Mother-in-law was out in NZ last month she used to text him. She said that he loved getting wee messages that way.


I am not sure where you are going to be based in the UK, but is there a movie (kids or family) one that has been filmed there. That is a great reference point for them. For our family The Water Horse has been excellant, and my kids are convinced that when we move back they are going to go and find the egg, and say hi to Nessie.
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Old Mar 18th 2010, 11:12 am
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Default Re: Long-distance grandparenting - need ideas

Originally Posted by DDL View Post
Within the next 4-6 months, I will be saying good-bye to my adult children and 3 young grandsons (Zach is 10; Nich & Josh, the twins, are 8). We live in the same town.

Yesterday was one of those "I can't wait for the adventure to begin" but tonight is one of those "How in the world can I leave the boys?"

I was thinking of making up a small box for each of them with stamped, pre-addressed envelopes containing a blank sheet of paper; and I know about the marvels of web cams and the internet/email in general, but what are some of the other ways that my grandparenting colleagues use to help ease the pain of separation from their grandchildren?

P.S. One thing I was thinking of doing before I leave is buying them a globe and showing them where I will be living; also supplying them with picture books of England ... and of course, pictures of me!
Hi...our boys were 5 and 8 when the arrived in Aus from the U.K....and very close to their Grandparents etc...very close....they are still as close...some friends are amazed that we know who live here as for the most of them their children are not as close if at all to their families back in the U.K...why our eyes...well...its work on both sides so to speak..we use to send letters (before emails etc..lol) plenty of pictures etc....Grandparents use to come out to visit and spend maybe even more quality time with the boys than if we were "back home"...really all you can do is just keep being there for them and letting them know of your adventures in the U.K....I think that is why our two are still so British..we are heading home this year to live....if it was the other way around and my Dad wanted to move somewhere I would be thrilled he was following a dream...so please follow yours..you will always be a Grandparent to your Grandchildren and like all things this in life it's what you put into a relationship not just of a title and I am sure your up there on your grandchildrens list of favorite people...good luck......
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Old Mar 18th 2010, 11:47 am
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Default Re: Long-distance grandparenting - need ideas

I am the worst person in the world to comment on your situation, but i wish you well. I came back to UK to be with mine last year. I couldnt face life without them all now.

Hope all goes well for you
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Old Mar 18th 2010, 1:10 pm
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Default Re: Long-distance grandparenting - need ideas

My grandchildren are younger than yours, so this might not work.

I left the UK last May for Canada. On my first trip back, I took the children to school/ nursery, I introduced my self to their teachers, found out what they are doing, how they are rewarded, my grandson has a traffic light system in his school (he is 5) I got to know every nook and cranny of thier lives, so when I talk to them on the web cam I can ask them about all the things that they do on a daily basis, I can talk with knowledge as I have been there and done it with them. I feel part of their day, and when they talk about me at school/nursery I am not some faceless Nanny because I made sure everyone knows me and I am interested in them.

I must say that the teacher and nursery staff were all very helpful and made me feel very welcome, they obviously aprreciated what I was trying to establish. The nursery staff let me spend a whole afternoon there. When I go back home, my daughter no longer has to let the school know that I will be picking up my grandson as they know me!.

I lived in Kent before we left, about 175 miles from where my daughter/ grandchildren are, if I still lived there I would never have been part of their every day life like this as I would not have seen a reason to do it.

I am not saying that being away from them is easy because it isnt - its hard. But I am doing what I can to make sure I am part of their lives. I am lucky in being in Canada, flights back are affordable and Just 7.5 hours long. My eldest granddaughter starts school in September so I will go back then and get to know her new daily routine, and that of the other 2.
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Old Mar 19th 2010, 9:15 pm
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Default Re: Long-distance grandparenting - need ideas

Thank you everyone for sharing your stories. Other than the year-and-a-half that I lived in England when they were babies, I have lived in the same town and always been active in their everyday lives - i.e., I know their teachers, classmates, etc., so will have a solid frame of reference to continue on with once I return to the UK.

ble, I especially liked your suggestion of using movies as a frame of reference. We'll be living in the West London area so there are already a number of films that spring to mind.

Please feel free to keep this thread going ....
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Old Mar 21st 2010, 5:56 am
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Default Re: Long-distance grandparenting - need ideas

Hi DDL

Another idea for you.

My family are into football and rugby - and of course it is 6 nations going at the moment.
So the kids all line up with Daddy to watch the match (okay a little of it - they like the pipe band and national athems at the beginning).
But during or after the match we always have the family ringing to make sure that we caught the match and the result etc.

Any chance of getting the boys to adopt your local team. You can send them the info on the team and their team shirt. I am sure that they could watch a little of the game on tv. Then they feel invovled in something that you love (if you do watch any sport - theres always tennis or golf). And arrange something for when they come to visit.

That way they feel a little invovled in your new life too. Watching and supporting the same things.

Of course if you don't follow any sport that is a little trickier.
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