The world feels like a much scarier place than it did just a week ago. The numbers of people getting sick with Covid-19 are increasing exponentially. Communities are pulling together while we all try to stay away from one another. Family disappointments are piling up: graduations, trips to see new babies, weddings—all cancelled or postponed. Just when we need each other, we are told to stay apart. Experts tell us it will get worse before it gets better.
Grandparents, it is at times like this that you are needed most.
What every family needs right now is someone to turn to who can help make it feel safer. Who better than you? No matter how shaky you feel, here are some ways for you to be a source of strength and wisdom as your family battles the stress they are experiencing because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Did you serve in a war? Live through the polio era? Spend time unemployed and broke? Watch a loved one struggle with illness or addiction?
Most of us have faced hard times and come through stronger. Share your stories with your family, especially if you never have before. Stories are the foundation of strong families, and now is the perfect time to strengthen those foundations.
Whether your grandchildren live across the world or just next door, writing them notes and letters creates a place for them to share their lives with you, and for you to share yours with them. Even today, with our ability to see and hear our grandchildren instantly no matter where they are in the world, there is an important place for the written word.
If Your Grandchildren Live Far Away
Did you ever have a pen pal as a child? Do you remember the thrill of getting a letter in the mail? (Let’s face it, it’s still exciting to get real mail!) If your grandchildren live in another city, state or country, establishing a habit of regular postal correspondence can bring you closer. Even before they can write, there are ways to make a pen pal out of your grandchildren.
If Your Grandchildren Live Nearby
Just because your grandchildren live close enough for frequent visits doesn’t mean there isn’t room for written exchanges. In addition to the ideas above, there are some special ways to engage your grandkids.
Do you have other ideas for making written correspondence a part of your relationship with your grandchildren? Please share in the comments!
The day that Apple announced FaceTime, I felt giddy. The Future, which held so many crazy possibilities, was soon going to be my pocket. Of all the things I imagined using it for, I failed to see it as a chance to read stories to my grandson even when we are hundreds of miles apart.
We FaceTime several times a week, but my favorite days are when he shouts, “Read me a story!” I’ll go up to the book shelf where we keep the children’s books, and he’ll request one of his favorites. Turning the camera lens so he can see the book instead of me, I’ll read. Though I miss out on getting to snuggle him on my lap while we read, I instead get to watch his face. I get to see him as he worries whether the baby bird will find his mother or points out the funny things the hen is buying in as she makes a pizza. Just as if we were together, he finishes lines he knows by heart. And each time I say, “The END!”, he says the same four words: “Read me another one!”
Not only do we get to enjoy story time together, but it gives his mother a chance to focus on his sister, or get dinner started without simultaneously wrangling two toddlers. And it makes it all the sweeter when we are together, and I get to read the stories and snuggle at the same time.