Long Distance Grandparenting

Remember the excitement you experienced for both you and your child when they first became of age and had the means to move out? You had always known that day would come, but for some reason the thought that they would take your grandbabies with them, just did not immediately register.

The role of grandparent has changed and not for the better. Generations of families used to remain in the same areas, but now kids go off to school, they meet other people from other countries. Your kids marry; sometimes people they met at school, who are from other countries or your child might go in the military and get stationed overseas and meet and marry a perfectly nice person who has but one fault, they have and intend on keeping your grandchildren! Now, how inconsiderate is that? I suppose you could just pack up and follow your children all over the planet so that you can be a daily part of your grandchildren’s lives, but that does seem a bit extreme.

A determined grandparent can still be a part of their grandchildren’s lives though through travel, telephone, mail, and internet services. There is, of course, also the occasional guilt trip laid on your own children for having the nerve to choose to living their own lives and wanting to keep their children.

Some grandparents have had a certain amount of success by sending the grandchildren lots of highly-desired, noisy and irritating toys so that the parents will aspire to send the grandchildren to the proper place, with their grandparents! With age comes deafness or the financial freedom to purchase the best darn earplugs on the market (or an even more highly-desired, quieter toy). You really have to be up on your toys though for this plan to have true success and you have to be careful when your children start questioning your sanity because you purchased a drum set for their three-year-old.

Another method for dealing with getting your children to relinquish your grandchildren is to plan family vacations to places such as Disneyland or places that have an appeal to the grandchildren’s interests. If the grandchildren like baseball, go to the Baseball Hall of Fame and one of their favorite team’s games. The simple and innocent act of letting the grandchildren know that you are looking into such a trip will give them cause to swing into action and achieve your goal.

Always remember, if you raised a happy and successful child who is a wonderful and caring parent, you did what you was put on this earth to do. You are entitled to a little quirkiness.