In honor of Grandparent’s Day and in response to my post about “Six New Ways to Connect With Grandparents” my mom is sharing her thoughts on being a long distance grandparent (or “bedstemor”, as the kids call her.)
For a while I have been meaning to write about being a long distance grandparent/bedstemor, and today I’ve let myself inspire by my daughter’s post on ‘Grandparents Day around the corner‘.
In the 70s my husband and I lived in Michigan with our two little girls, Sonja and Tove. They were very lucky to have their paternal grandparents living about an hour’s drive from us. Their maternal grandparents however lived in Denmark, where I came from. We didn’t have that much money, but we tried to go to Denmark once a year, so the girls would get to know their Danish side of the family.
[bctt tweet=”This hip #grandmother uses #technology to stay in touch! See how she does it! “]
In between the annual visits we kept in touch by writing letters, taking pictures and sending drawings from Sonja and Tove. Once a year we talked on the phone for about 3 minutes, this was a special Christmas gift to my parents. We even had to order the call 2 weeks prior to Christmas. We made the most of the situation, and I honestly feel we had a close relationship with my parents in spite of the distance.
Now it’s my turn to be a long distance grandparent. I live in Denmark. My four grandsons live in Florida and my two granddaughters here in Denmark, approximately a two hour drive from me.
Today is a different story! I love the new technology. I can get in touch with my daughter in Florida and my daughter in Denmark any time I want to. There are so many useful apps; for instance Viber, FaceTime, Facebook and Skype. On top of that we have emails, photo sharing on ICloud, Google drive, Dropbox – actually the sky is the limit. I love it.
I don’t think I’ll ever take for granted that I can connect with my grandchildren in the USA and Denmark with such ease and without the expense it was back then. Once you have lived so far away from your loved ones, you certainly value and appreciate the closeness you experience today.
I stay in touch with my two teenage granddaughters here in Denmark, using all the electronic gadgets you can think of. They don’t need any help from their parents though, they are the experts. Helping them with their German and English homework is now a piece of cake. This would never have been possible in the 70s.
I also teach iPad to senior citizens here in Denmark. And I can tell you the most important incentive to make them really interested in the new technology is being able to connect with their grandchildren around the world.
I love my grandchildren and I am so grateful that I have the means and tools to connect with them and follow them even though I live so far away from them.
How do you stay connected with your child’s grandparents?