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How To Be A Cool Long-Distance Cyber-Grandparent

By Allison Weiss

Being a long-distance grandparent is not easy. Thanks to webcam technology, you can see your grandkids with the click of a button. But, as you know all too well, kids enjoy playing and not chatting so your time on webcam is often not fun for them – or fulfilling for you.

Luckily, by harnessing the full power of the webcam, you can transform ‘face time’ into quality time that everyone enjoys. All it takes is some strategy, creativity, and dedication and you can create fun, lively experiences that break down the virtual wall and allow you to play – and bond – across the miles. This is what cyber-grandparenting is all about!

One way to start your cyber-grandparenting journey is by establishing virtual traditions that are incorporated into your grandkids’ daily or weekly routines. These traditions are a way to have fun together and can be a means to becoming a regular part of their lives even from afar.

Here’s what you need to do:

Step 1 – Strategy: Think about a time in their daily or weekly routine that makes sense for you to be involved via webcam. Maybe you join them virtually for a Sunday dinner? Or perhaps bath time is when you drop in?

Step 2 – Creativity: Think of a quirky activity, song, or saying that your kids will enjoy. It can be as simple as saying “Bon Appetit!” before dinner or teaching them the words to Bobby Darin’s “Splish Splash” during bath time. It doesn’t have to be elaborate to be meaningful. But it should be memorable!

Step 3 – Dedication:  Make every effort to consistently “appear” in their routine. You want to partake in your new tradition over and over again. Ask their parents for support, and encourage them to continue the tradition even when you can’t be there on webcam.

Traditions have lots of benefits for long-distance kids and if you keep at it they will come to eagerly anticipate and associate this part of their routine with you. Eventually, they will partake in the tradition even when you’re not around. This means that you’ve become a fun part of their day, every day, even from afar. Success!

Cyber grandparentAllison Weiss is the Founder of Closer To The Kids, the only free newsletter that focuses exclusively on long-distance families with young kids. For simple and creative tips on how to maintain strong bonds with your long-distance grandchildren, visit Closer To The Kids and subscribe to their free weekly email. Cyber-grandparent

Christine Crosby

About the author

Christine is the co-founder and editorial director for GRAND Magazine. She is the grandmother of five and great-grandmom (aka Grandmere) to one. She makes her home in St. Petersburg, Florida.

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