Best Ways to stay in touch with Grandchildren

Families separated by distance:

How many families do you know live within a few short miles of each other? For many people, their family members are scattered across the country. Divorce, employment opportunities, and retirement are three reasons why people find themselves isolated in one part of the country, while the nuclear family resides in another.

If you are a grandparent separated by distance from your grandchildren how can you make the best of the situation? Here are a few tips that may help to make the miles melt away.


Postcards and Letters to Grandchildren

Children love to receive mail. Yes, we live in a technological world and it is easier to pick up the phone or send a quick email, however, there are reasons why an actual letter or postcard is a better choice.

First, your grandchild feels acknowledged and loved when you take the time to send mail. It is as inexpensive as the cost of the postage. It doesn’t have to be fancy. It can be a quick picture drawn on a blank piece of paper or a card bought at the dollar store. Wal-Mart is one of the many stores who sell 99 cent cards that are specific for kids. It is a simple, “You’re thought of.”

Second, it is a lasting memento. While the call or email can be an instant connection, the letter is a constant reminder to be re-read, cherished and saved, if the grandchild chooses. An assurance that there is a someone, (you), who is part of the larger world outside of his immediate family, who knows him, thinks of him, and follows his life, even if you do not meet on a regular basis.

For grandparents who are ‘on the road’ with their RV visiting all of the places they have put off seeing during their work days, a postcard from these locations can be a wonderful collection for the grandchild waiting back home.

Third, it makes a child feel important when the ‘mail call’ names her as a recipient. When it is usually a parent who receives the bills, notices and letters, it is an exciting moment that breaks up the routine of the day when a child gets to open her own mail.

Fourth, it teaches a child the art of letter writing. By encouraging a response via letters or postcards, the grandchild learns etiquette, through writing thank you letters, and communication, through sending a note relating what is going on in his life. Becoming a pen pal with your grandchild helps to keep communication alive via the written form.

Modern means of staying in touch with grandkids

Many older people feel the computer is too foreign for them to navigate. This can pose a problem because most people are communicating through email. Children of all ages are using email accounts, and older children especially, have access to Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, some of the more popular social network sites. By becoming savvy to these sites a grandparent can become his grandchild’s ‘friend’ and stay on top of her activities and friends list.

Cell phones are also a means of closing the circle of distance. Immediate connection is just a phone call away. Children who are very young may not have their own cell phone, but their parents do. So, one phone call can mean talking to both the parent and the grandchild. And, most teens do have their own cell phones, creating a close contact with one’s older grandkids.

Computer cams and skyping are two other ways that are a modern, instantaneous ‘together’ time with family members who live far away. A simple purchase of these services and their products can result in closing the gap that is created when grandparents and grandchildren live apart from one another.

Grandparents can send care packages...

Usually college students temporarily living away from home, or service men and women stationed overseas, are who come to mind when one thinks of care packages. But, any child will delight in receiving a package from grandparents.

Again, it does not have to mean spending a lot of money, but some simple gifts, homemade or bought, along with a food item that is a favorite, can bring a smile to the grandchild’s face.

Stickers are a simple, inexpensive gift that can be easily sent to a very young child. A phone card or gift card can easily be slipped into an envelope for an older child. Everyone loves to feel special and by sending a care package you are sending the message to your grandchild that she is thought of.

Fun together
Fun together | Source

A trip to see your grandchildren

Depending on your financial situation, taking a trip to see your grandkids is the best way to get that wonderful grandchild time-all the hugs, kisses, love, and playtime you can get. While it is not always possible to make that happen, if one can plan at least one visit per year and fill in the rest of the months with letters and phone calls, it is precious time well spent.

Challenge yourself this year to see how many creative ways you can stay in contact with your distant grandchildren.

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Comments 42 comments

Danette Watt 5 years ago

Dee, you always write timely and useful hubs. I enjoy reading them...keep 'em coming!


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina Author

Hello, Danette-what a surprise at this hour of the night. Thanks for your comment. I really appreciate your feedback, you know. :) Talk with you soon.


cardelean profile image

cardelean 5 years ago from Michigan

Wow, great ideas. My children love to receive mail from their out of town grandparents. Great pic too. You have a beautiful family.


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 5 years ago from South Carolina

Great suggestions Denise,

I don't have any grand-children but I have a lot of great nieces and great nephews that we do things like this with and I love to keep up with their activities through facebook.

I agree that regular mail and care packages are more special than email and good to do once in a while.

Love the family photo you put in this hub.


carrie450 profile image

carrie450 5 years ago from Winnipeg, Canada

Nice hub Denise. I like surprising my grandchildren by sending out cards when they least expect it or a box of homemade brownies. We keep in touch often by web camera also. The photo is lovely.


Darlene Sabella profile image

Darlene Sabella 5 years ago from Hello, my name is Toast and Jam, I live in the forest with my dog named Sam ...

this are really great ideas, and I think I try to make sure I stay close to my granddaughter. She really hates talking on the phone, she is now 9 years old, and we skype all the time. Have you made comments on my hubs, not sure I have seen you. Love & peace Darski


b. Malin profile image

b. Malin 5 years ago

Great ideas...as long as we stay in touch, whatever method works, we do in the name of LOVE! Speaking of staying in touch...please do. A Happy Healthy Christmas to you!


richtwf profile image

richtwf 5 years ago

Yes these useful ways can help grandparents to keep in touch with their grandchildren which is especially important when they're young, as they don't stay little and young forever!

God bless and peace to you this Christmas and best wishes for the New Year.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States

You have some great ways to stay in touch with your grandchildren more than just a phone call. I think you are right about the letters and care packages. I miss my grandchildren that live far away so I think I'll try your suggestions.


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina Author

cardelean-- I am thrilled to see you here. I am very happy to hear that your children love getting postcards from their grandparents. Nice to know that my suggestions are useful, LOL. Thank you for your comments. Yes, I do have a beautiful family and am proud to own that. They're a blast to play with and hang out with. Enjoy your holidays. :)


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina Author

Thank you, friends for reading and commenting on this hub. I hope you all have wonderful Christmas and New Year.

Darski--yes, I have visited and commented on your hubs. (I don't get a response from you though :( and was wondering about that). My latest reads of yours were the Friendship on hubpages and the Diamond back rattler...I sent you a huge CONGRATULATIONS for your 100th hub.


BobbiRant profile image

BobbiRant 5 years ago from New York

These are some wonderful ideas. I am book marking this one. Very nice.


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina Author

Shuvo-so sorry to hear that your grandparents are gone, but I'm glad that you are able to maintain a joyful relationship with your last grandparent. Thanks for your positive comments.

Bobbi-nice to see you again. Thank you for stopping in and commenting. Merry Christmas to you and your family.


Stephanie Henkel profile image

Stephanie Henkel 5 years ago from USA

Hi Denise,

As one of the RVing grandparents, we use all these methods to keep in touch with our grandchildren. A couple of our grandchildren keep all of our postcards in a scrapbook, so I know they really love getting them. Facebook is another way we keep close.

I think it's really important for grandparents to find ways to build that special bond with grandkids who are far away. Thanks for a very nice hub!


carolina muscle profile image

carolina muscle 5 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

This something that is definitely a priority -- and there's some great ideas here!!!!!!!!


JohnUy profile image

JohnUy 5 years ago

Great topic and nicely explained. I am sure that most grandparents and grandchildren could put a little more effort into seeing each other more often. Life is short and we need to enjoy it with the ones we love.

/John


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina Author

Hi Stephanie-I actually was thinking of you when I mentioned the RVing. Have a wonderful holiday.

Hi CM-back in town? Thanks for stopping by for a read. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

Hi John-nice to meet you. I think your onto something...it really is a two way street with maintaining any relationship, isn't it. Hope your holidays are pleasant and peaceful. Thanks for your comment.


Kaie Arwen profile image

Kaie Arwen 5 years ago

I will remember these for future use........... my mom, she has it down to an art form! She's the best Grandma! Merry Christmas ~ Kaie


acaetnna profile image

acaetnna 5 years ago from Guildford

Great ideas and reading. Beautifully explained - awesome!


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina Author

Hi Kaie and Acaetnna-thanks for your feedback. I hope you both have a wonderful holiday. Merry Christmas!


Mr. Smith profile image

Mr. Smith 5 years ago from California

Great ideas, Denise.


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina Author

Thanks for your feedback Mr. Smith. Nice to meet you. I see you are from CA--I lived there for 1 1/2 years and miss it greatly. Would love to move back, but family calls on the east side of the country.


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 5 years ago

Grab every second! Another great message! Thank you Denise.


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina Author

Thanks Micky-you know, I just returned from spending time with those precicious gems. Fun!


Diana Lee profile image

Diana Lee 5 years ago from Potter County, Pa.

I agree about how much grandkids love getting your letters. Mine love getting mail and knowing how much I think of them. Good hub.


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina Author

Thanks Diana-I linked your cardinal retreat hub to my Songbird hub. :)


baygirl33 profile image

baygirl33 5 years ago from Hamilton On.

Hey,just read your hub on grandchildren.Mine don't live that far away but have grown too busy. I remember when they were young they were always here but now they have lives and that's a good thing but...

Liked your ideas and will do more snail mail.


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina Author

Hi baygirl33-glad to know that you picked up a tip or too with this hub. I just sent off a pkg to both sets of grandkids with a few trinkets in it. It wasn't much-the postage cost more, LOL But, just something to let them know I'm thinking of them.

Now that my oldest daughter has set up skyping on my computer it brings us even closer. Thanks for reading.


GiftedGrandma profile image

GiftedGrandma 5 years ago from USA

It is a great hub. All our 20 grandchildren live states away, it is disheartening because they don't communicate. I tried the letters etc even with pre-addressed envelopes and postage. Parents didn't help :-( will try again but postage is high on a fixed income :-)


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina Author

Thank you GG for reading and adding your experience. I'm sorry that is your situation. May I suggest a 'conference' of some sort with your children to let them know what your needs are? It is only a suggestion, but perhaps there is a way that you can connect with them and elicit their support in your endeavor with this.

My latest thing has been skyping. My one daughter is very good with having my younger grandkids stay in touch via the 'computer', but the other daughter has not gotten into the swing of it yet. But, with some gentle prodding, I am hoping that it changes.

I am fortunate that I live on the same side of the nation now and I'm able to make a few trips through the year.

Please connect with me again and let me know if there has been any improvement. Thanks!


inthenickoftime77 profile image

inthenickoftime77 5 years ago from New Zealand, aka: Aotearoa, aka: The Land Of The Long White Cloud

Some Great ideas Denise. I recently had the opportunity to look after my grandchildren for 5 days and absolutely loved it. They live 5 hours away, so we dont get to see them much. We cherished every moment with them and will endeavour to see them more often as they are growing so fast. What a beautiful family photo. Gorgeous kids, you must be very proud of them.


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina Author

Hi inthenickoftime-thanks for reading and commenting. I am proud of them. It is so fun being a grandparent, isn't it?


inthenickoftime77 profile image

inthenickoftime77 5 years ago from New Zealand, aka: Aotearoa, aka: The Land Of The Long White Cloud

Sure is. When I first became a grandmother I wasn't sure I liked the title, because I didn't feel like a Nana !. All changed now though and I love to hear those words


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina Author

Hhahahah, that is so funny you said that. I was just saying that same thing in a phone conversation with a friend of mine tonight. I was much too 'young', LOL It is a title I fully embrace now.


jeyaramd profile image

jeyaramd 4 years ago from Mississauga, Ontario

Staying touch with grandchildren is so important. Its important to do so in the first five years of life. And thereafter also. Although there are many modern means of communication that are immediate. I do enjoy sending the occasional cards via mail. However, nothings beats spending time together in person.


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 4 years ago from North Carolina Author

jeyaramd-thank you for reading and offering your experience. I love to get real mail from my kids and grandkids and to send them cards as well. I am enjoying our latest technological meetings through skyping. But, my favorite, of course, is to travel to Michigan to spend real time together.


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

Hi Denise. I like the various ways you mention to stay in touch with Grandchildren. I really wish we would communicate more via letters. This is one art which is fading very fast in this push button technology time. It is so much more personal and the thrill that one gets on reading a personally written letter can only be felt by one who gets it.

The other modes are very useful too.

Useful and beautiful hub. Voted up.


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 4 years ago from North Carolina Author

Hello Rajan-thank you for your feedback on this hub. I love sending and receiving 'real' letters. I also wrote a hub about teaching children how to write thank you notes-another dying art. Thanks for the votes.


Ruby H Rose profile image

Ruby H Rose 4 years ago from Northwest Washington on an Island

What wonderful ways to keep in touch! Still trying to get my Mom use to her cell phone, ha! I love this hub!


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 4 years ago from North Carolina Author

Ruby, LOL that is interesting about your mom and amusing, too. I can't imagine her in front of a computer!! Thanks for reading. :)


mr-veg profile image

mr-veg 3 years ago from Colorado United States

Nice one Denise, though am bit young to enter the category but I like the ideas and the concept put together.. specially the postcard part, I would myself love to see a mail from my grandmother :)


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 3 years ago from North Carolina Author

Thanks for reading, Mr-Veg and be sure to keep this in mind when you are old and crazy, like me, ha ha.

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