A couple of months ago, I joined a monthly membership for long-distance grandparents. It promised to provide me with ways to make sure I was a part of my grandchildren’s life, to help me build strong and meaningful bonds, and to make sure my grandchildren and I really knew each other. It promised to equip me with activities that would ensure I always had something to send to them, something to say to them when we talked, and something to play despite the miles between us.
It seemed like a tall promise, and my expectations weren’t high. But the price seemed like a small investment if it delivered even half of what it promised. After all, the relationship with my grandchildren is priceless, and I’d gladly pay far more than $20 a month to strengthen that bond. So I signed up.
Let me tell you, The Long Distance Grandparent Society delivered on every promise, and more. What I got:
To say that the membership materials exceeded my expectations is an understatement. But there was a bigger surprise for me.
The Long Distance Grandparent Society also offers a private Facebook group with monthly Zoom chats for its members. I typically don’t participate in groups like this, but I joined with the plan to lurk. When the first Grand Chat rolled around, I logged on knowing that the chance of my introverted self contributing to a conversation with strangers was practically nil.
What I found was not a group of strangers, but a group of people who understand what it is like to be a grandparent who cannot see their grandchildren as often as they’d like. People from all over the world who exchange ideas and offer support and encouragement. These monthly calls have quickly turned into a highlight for all of us.
As one of the members said, “None of my friends really get it. They all say, ‘At least you have FaceTime!’ They don’t seem to understand why that’s not enough to keep me from missing them.”
If you are a grandparent who is missing their grandchildren, whether it’s due to distance or Covid-19, the Long Distance Grandparent Society can help bring you closer. It can’t replace the hugs, but it can add laughter, love and meaning to your days. And it will connect you with others who know what you are going through.
The membership doors are now open for a few days: for more information, visit their page.
Interactive stories to make even virtual storytime a hit
Reading with small children helps them learn the building blocks of language. It also introduces them to stories, which are a rich, vital part of human life. Books can ignite their imagination and curiosity, and the right books can entertain them for long stretches. And for grandparents, it’s a lovely way to share time together, even if it’s only over video chat.
But how do you keep the attention of a squirrely two-year-old, or a three-year-old with better things to do? The secret to picking books for your grandchildren is finding ones that demand their attention: books that ask them questions, encourage them to jump around, or are filled with silliness. These interactive stories will keep toddlers and preschoolers tuned in.
The following books all have a collaborative element that goes beyond lifting the flap, and are fun for the reader as well as the child. Click on any book cover to learn more about it and order it from Amazon!
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What book does your toddler grandchild love best? Please share in the comments!
Services to Help New Parents When Grandparents Can’t Be There
A few of you have asked us to recap the posts that covered the many ways that grandparents can help out if they can’t be there physically when a new baby arrives. Work schedules, finances, geography, ill health—not to mention a pandemic: there are many reasons why you may not be able to be on the scene to help the new parents. That doesn’t mean you can’t help out, though. Here’s a quick run down of the services we covered in past weeks:
Katie Clark, a Certified Lactation Educator through CAPPA, leads us through the services a lactation expert can provide to new mothers, and how grandparents can make sure parents get the support they need. Read the post.
Sheryl Cooksley of Family Tree Doula Services explains the emotional, physical, and instructional support that doulas can provide to new parents. She shares how grandparents can get involved in the process of finding a doula to join the new family support team. Read the post.
Family sleep consultant
A new mom shares her experience with Rest to Your Nest’s Mary Cantwell, a family sleep coach who crafted a plan to address the family sleep challenges. Because everything is easier with enough sleep! Read the post.
Meals, house cleaning, and laundry
Meal prep services abound, and there is one for every budget and palate. Home cleaning services are widely available, and having someone else mop the floor and scrub the shower is a true gift to new parents. Almost every town has a dry cleaners or laundromat that offers “wash, dry and fold”, and many offer pick up and delivery—making this service even more convenient. Read the post.
Are there any other services grandparents can help provide when they can’t be there in person? Please leave a comment if you know of any to add to the list!