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Review of Being a Distance Grandparent: A Book for ALL Generations by Helen Ellis M.A.
Long-distance grandparents around the world rejoiced when Helen Ellis released her book in April, 2021. While living far away from grandchildren is never easy, the global pandemic made even rare visits impossible for many families. Ellis’ book, with its many stories and academic tone, gives comfort to those grandparents who are struggling with their long-distance role. Being a Distance Grandparent covers both the emotional experience and the practicalities of long-distance grandparenting: How hard it is to worry from afar. Where to stay when you visit. The uncertainties, the jealousies, and the difficulties of different time zones.
Ellis started the project as her master’s thesis, and it shows in the way her information is presented. Each topic that impacts distance families is presented, discussed and illustrated with real-world stories from distance families themselves. It’s a book about being a distance grandparent, rather than a book of advice for long-distance grandparents. Ellis makes it clear that she has not set out to tell you how to be a good distance grandparent, as only you and your family can know how that looks. However, she does sprinkle advice amongst her stories and experiences, and you will find many helpful ideas throughout the book.
Being a Distance Grandparent will be especially relatable for internationally separated families. Though it has plenty for all distance grandparents, many of the topics weren’t issues faced by my own family, separated only by a few US states and two time zones. For those families who are dealing with longer distances and international borders, Ellis’ book will help you realize that you aren’t alone. What’s more, you’ll see ways to overcome the struggles you are experiencing as you try to forge and maintain a relationship with your grandchildren.
No matter what the distance separating your family, reading Being a Distance Grandparent will give you a deeper understanding of how to minimize its impact. Order a copy today.