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Communication is key for long-distance grandparenting

When a divorce means that one or both parents and their children must move, Virginia grandparents may find themselves trying to maintain strong relationships with grandchildren across county, state or even international lines. Long-distance grandparenting can be challenging, but modern technology has eased the way for far-flung families to stay in close communication.

According to the Foundation for Grandparenting, family ties are often negatively influenced by distance. When one-on-one time is not possible, however, grandparents can still bond with their grandkids via consistent, frequent communication through notes, over the phone or online. The children are likely to respond positively to grandparents who keep the lines of communication open despite distances because they will feel loved and cared for.

Technology is a grandparent’s best friend when it comes to staying in touch with family that is far away, according to Helpguide. Today’s grandchildren are tech savvy, and it behooves grandma and grandpa to learn the ropes of digital communication, too. Instant messaging, email and social media present easy ways to stay in touch, and video conferencing now allows for face-to-face conversations from almost anywhere.

The growth of online communication platforms does not mean that more traditional ways of reaching out are obsolete. Grandchildren also enjoy receiving phone calls and notes in the mail.

Last but not least, it is important to make the most of opportunities to spend time in person with grandchildren. Grandparents’ visits do not need to come in a hectic round of sightseeing. Participating in family activities, going for walks with grandchildren or simply sitting down for a heart-to-heart conversation can make the visit memorable and help to strengthen the grandparent-grandchild bond.

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