The ability to offer them unconditional love without having to take on a disciplinary role, allows the grandmother or grandfather to develop a unique bond that’s based on trust and security.
If they happen to live near their grandchildren, and they are able to visit them frequently, memories can be created that will last a lifetime.
However, many grandparents live a few hours away from or in a different part of the country, so staying connected to grandkids during one of the most influential times in their lives can seem difficult.
Methods for Communication
With today’s technological advances and the expansion of communication devices, there are a number of meaningful ways that Beaverton’s grandparents stay connected with their grandkids.
Here are four specific ways that you can maintain a meaningful relationship with family who live out of your immediate area:
Send them letters
Despite the fact that more people use e-mail as a primary means for sending messages to others, taking the time to select and send a handwritten letter or card is still a small way of demonstrating significant thought and consideration.
For small children, receiving an unexpected card from grandma and/or grandpa can be very exciting and is a great way to build positive associations without having to be physically present.
If you reside in a retirement community, take the time to send out a letter once a month in order to establish a ritual that’s just between you and your grandkids.
At Hearthstone Senior Living communities we make it easy by providing cards and stamps to purchase so you can stay connected to your loved ones. Include language around how much you love and accept them for who they are, and try to include details that you have gathered from talking to their parents, such as, “I heard you had a great day at kindergarten learning how to sing the ABCs!”
This type of communication will help compensate for the physical distance between you and your grandkids, showing them that you are consistent, dependable, and aware of what’s going on in their world.
Connect over Skype or Facetime
There are more tools today than ever before when it comes to staying connected with loved ones. To set up Skype, you download the program on to your computer that has a camera or on to your smartphone. Then you create a log-in and password, connect with your extended family, and begin chatting. If you have an ipad or iphone, Facetime is also really easy to set up. At Hearthstone, we have staff available that are happy to help you set up these programs.
Video chat programs like Skype or Facetime make it easy to stay close with grandchildren, remain connected to see how they’re growing, and see their smiling faces. Another benefit of video chat is that it creates opportunities for you to participate with each other in some type of activity, such as baking cookies with them and their parents or reading a children’s book together. You can even work on homework together.
If you are going to set up a Skype meeting, try to schedule a time that is convenient for you and won’t be interrupted by other routines that make up their day, such as dinner, nap time, or bath time.
Plant a birthday tree
Planting a tree in your grandchildren’s yard when they are born is a great tradition to establish that also creates a tangible reference point that they can use to remember you by. Whether you are able to be present on their birthday or not, they can commemorate each year by taking a picture standing next to the tree and posting it on the fridge or in a family photo album.
Giving your grandkids as many opportunities to see pictures of you is a great way to develop strong emotional ties, regardless of the distance.
By exchanging photos of each other on a regular basis, you too are able to watch them grow and keep track of their development.
One fun way to encourage this is to buy two disposable cameras, one that you keep and one that is sent to your grandkids. Ask them to take pictures of their school, their classmates, pets, adventures, and anything else that interests them. Have them send the camera in a stamped and pre-addressed padded envelope back to you to develop. Once the pictures have arrived, you can create a special photo album that records their specific activities.
Of course, you should do the same thing for them so that they can have their own photo album of you.
Stay connected at our retirement communities in Beaverton
For seniors who are considering transitioning into a retirement community, whether Independent Living, Assisted Living or into a Memory Care, our family owned and managed apartments provide the perfect outlet for remaining independent, while still being able to connect with loved ones.
At Hearthstone of Beaverton, our boutique-style community contains over 50 different Assisted Living apartments that range from private studios to one or two bedrooms. At Hearthstone at Murrayhill, we offer Independent, Assisted Living, and Memory Care. Our team of friendly, professional staff are available to our residents 24 hours a day and includes a full-time registered nurse at each building.
We serve our residents, families and guests with love, respect, and integrity…and that is only the beginning of what makes us so special.
You can meet with us or schedule a tour by calling Hearthstone of Beaverton at 503-641-0911 or by visiting us at:
12520 SW Hart Road
Beaverton, OR 97008
Or calling Hearthstone at Murrayhill at 503-520-0911 or stopping by at:
10880 SW Davies Rd
Beaverton, OR 97008