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Social Distancing for Grandparents: Staying Connected

During this time of crisis in our world, we have been asked to isolate ourselves from our community, our friends and our family.  Social distancing for Grandparents is necessary to protect ourselves and others.  So, what things can we do to help from a distance?

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When a Pandemic Changes Our Lives.

We all love our Grandchildren and want what is best for them. 

If we live close by, we enjoy seeing them on a fairly regular basis. 

But we understand it might be necessary to sacrifice our own wishes in order to protect them. 

And to protect ourselves.  

Being Grandma from afar

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Social Distancing for Grandparents

The request from our government to socially distance ourselves is contrary to our normal behavior. 

We are social by nature and need contact with others in order to maintain our mental health. 

We have jobs, celebrations, interactions and our lives to live. 

We are now being restricted.   Asked to stay home.  Encouraged to isolate ourselves from each other. 

We may or may not agree or understand, but it is our duty to comply. 

For the welfare of ourselves, our families, our communities, our nation, and our world.

So where does this leave us? 

How can we help our children and grandchildren in this changing world?

Isolate yourself, but find a way to help.

I know my help would make things easier for my son and daughter-in-law.  It’s very stressful for them to have their lives turned upside down. 

They are trying to do it all – working, caring for their children, learning to homeschool, giving up sports, canceling parties, concerts, and all other social life.  Figuring out the financial implications, how to keep their household running, and more.

Their life is much more complicated than mine.  I’ve worked from home for many years, so that has not changed for me. 

My husband and I are the only ones living at my house. 

Obviously, the kids are grown and have families of their own. 

We can stay in as needed without as much difficulty (though it certainly isn’t pleasant or desired…)

I love my Grandchildren very much and enjoy seeing them.  We have a great time together. 

Watching them play soccer, give a piano recital, or attending a school program means a lot to us. 

Being an active part of their life has always been a priority.

woman on tablet

What Can You Do?

Your particular situation may be similar to mine or may be vastly different. 

We all are unique, our Grands may be different ages, some of us have many and some only one.  Some of us are close by, some live far away.  

Faced with this new territory where we can’t physically be there to help, we are unable to babysit, we can’t pick the kids up for an evening of fun, Grandparents need to find new ways to be there for our families. 

What They’re Saying

Here is what the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is saying:  Older adults, 65 years and older, are at higher risk for severe illness.

In order to be good citizens, we are staying in and trying to stay well.

What Can You Do While Isolating?

Being home and isolated for a long period can be difficult.  Here are some constructive things you can do to occupy yourself. 

Isolation Journal

Keep a journal of your experiences during this difficult time in our history.  This would be very valuable one day – a first-hand account of the Covid-19 Pandemic and how one person – you – experienced it.

Memory Journal

Start writing down memories from your childhood for your Grandchildren.  

Find some more ideas for journaling in this article: How to Start a Grandmother Journal.

Photo Memory Book

Go through your photos and make a memory book for yourself or your Grandchildren.

Document your Family Tree

Make a family tree as far back as you can remember, then do a little research to fill in the blanks.  Give your family a head start on tracing their ancestors.

Share Photos

If your Grandbabies are very young (or even if they are older), consider getting a digital photo frame and asking your children to send you photos as often as they can.

Text

Text your Grandchildren or use Facebook messenger to contact them.  

Letters & Packages

Write them a letter.

Send them a package with fun things to do.

Here are some fun Care Package Ideas for Kids that you might consider sending to them.

Grandma using tablet

Video Chat

Play games with them on FaceTime.  You’ll find some ideas here:  Games to Play on FaceTime with Grandchildren

Use FaceTime, Skype, Google Hangouts or some other method to spend face-to-face time with your Grandkids. 

  •      Play a game of cards or help them work a puzzle. 
  •      Watch them dress their baby doll or run their race cars down the track.  
  •      Have the parents tune in at bedtime so you can read them a book and say goodnight.   
  •      Ask them to play their favorite song while you all dance.
  •      Take them for a walk outside and talk about what you’re seeing.  Let them take you for a walk around their yard.

For babies or Grands that are very little, maybe ask mom or dad to use the Marco Polo app on their phone to send you quick little videos of the kids. 

Or use it to read a story that they can listen to at a later time.  This app lets you record and watch whenever you have time.  It’s not live – just tune in when you can.

Make a Phone Call

Just call and talk with each other.

What Else?

Think of special ways you can interact with them without actually being there. 

What are you doing to keep yourself and your Grandkids safe?

What are you doing to stay connected?

Take a moment to comment below and let us know.

Keep Passing Down the Love,

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Related:  How to Use a Digital Photo Album to Stay Connected to Family

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