Distance is tricky for any family, it can be hard to maintain close relationships and stay in contact regularly. But it’s especially heart-breaking when you can’t be there to see your grandkids grow up.
Sadly situations change, children chase their dreams and before you know it they are starting a family of their own. But what can you do to ensure you remain an important part of your grandkids’ lives.
That is the question of one upset gran who is worried the long distance could impact the relationship she and her partner share with their grandchildren.
Taking to online forum Gransnet, the gran explained how although they try to stay in touch as much as possible, they are concerned they won’t be able to build those important relationships.
“We have two young GC (grandkids) (2 and 4) that we only get to see once or twice a year,” she wrote. “We try to Skype once a week but find that difficult – the two kids want to play or find it funny to hang up.”
While during their visits the grandkids warm up to them she added: “Even with weekly Skype, each visit starts as if we are strangers.”
The gran was not alone in her worries with many other grandparents sharing their hardships of long distance and suggesting ways to solve the issue.
“We are in exactly the same situation. Now the DGDs (dear granddaughters) are 3 and 4 it is slowly getting better so we just need to exercise some patience. One idea would be to take little videos and send them,” one person wrote.
While another suggested sending updates via post to keep in touch. “I send postcards from wherever I am, days out, holidays etc. Keeps me on the agenda if nothing else. I try to have educational conversations and encourage them following me on a map,” they said.
A third added some words of support and said: “Like all relationships, long distance grandparenting requires work – but it’s very worthwhile. Good luck!”
There is no doubt grandchildren are an important part of any grandparents life, with another woman recently recently reaching out for advice over concerns her grandkids will no longer need her.
Writing to The Sun‘s advice column Dear Deirdre, she said: “My kids and grandchildren are my life. What purpose will I have in life when they no longer need me?”
The grandmother said she spends a lot of time with her son and daughter – who are both married – and often minds the grandchildren, who are all under 10. However, as of late, the woman admitted she’s been thinking a lot about what her purpose will be once they grow up.
Deidre sympathised with the disheartened woman, advising her to not underestimate how treasured and valuable she is to her family.
“I can sympathise,” the reply read. “You are clearly a lovely mum and grandma, your family’s rock.
“But you underestimate how treasured and valuable you are to them all for being you, not just fulfilling a practical role like looking after the grandchildren. You instilled strength and courage in them, which will stand them in good stead,” she wrote.