5 Tips for Long-distance Grandparenting


Many missionary kids are separated from their grandparents by a great distance. Vice versa, many missionaries can feel disconnected from their grandchildren in the homeland.

The following ideas on long-distance grandparenting are adapted from Charmaine L. Ciardi’s 1995 book, The Magic of Grandparenting. Try them yourself or share them with your child’s long-distance grandparents:

  • Buy an age-appropriate book for your young grandchildren. Make a video recording of yourself reading it aloud, and send it to them so they can experience reading stories with Grandma or Grandpa.
  • Take advantage of technology: talk on Skype, Facetime or WhatsApp. Send real time pictures and videos of interesting things you are doing and family you’ve seen.
  • Buy a book of kid’s jokes and send a joke in each email. Or send stickers, craft kits, or other small “just for fun” gifts.
  • Send installments of “My Life as a Child.” Include the school subjects you found difficult, the scrapes you got into, stories about your favorite (and not so favorite) relatives, your most embarrassing moments, your heroes — just share the simple pleasure of growing up.
  • Secretly leave a small box of dress-up clothes for your grandchildren (or include it in the family’s shipment). Send things like old hats, dresses, fancy pieces of material, old ties, shoes, etc. Ask your children for photos in their fancy outfits

For more ideas on long-distance grandparenting, visit www.pomnet.org.

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