In a world of social media, the idea of your grandchildren picking up the telephone to give you a call these days is not very likely. If you are not on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vine or any one of the many social media networks out there, conversations with your grandchildren may be far and few. Even with the fancy cell phone you got them for Christmas, the calls just aren’t coming, and if you’re like me, you miss the frequent contact.
I decided to reach out to my friends to find out how they keep in touch with their grandchildren. Here are some of the tips they shared.
• Send notes via “snail mail.” Younger children are especially happy to receive a letter from the postman. Encourage them to respond back to your letters by sending photos, artwork or even copies of their report cards.
• Instead of writing a letter, record one to change things up a bit. Ask that they do the same. A simple hand-held tape recorder works perfect and can be sent back and forth between you and your grandchild.
• Send your grandchild a disposable camera and ask he/she to take pictures of themselves, the family pet, friends and themselves doing their favorite activities. Get the parents to mail the camera back to you. Have the photos developed and make a small album, and on their next visit they can explain the pictures to you.
• Start a book club and use Skype to discuss the book. This not only gives you opportunity to interact with your grandchildren, but also encourages reading.
• Play 20 questions via e-mail. The continuous back and forth transmissions keep the lines of communication open. This is a game that can go on for a very long time.
Communication is key to building strong and meaningful relationships with your grandchildren. Learning to text may be something you’ll have to learn to keep the lines of communication open. It will be worth every second spent.