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.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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,
Friday 8th of May 2020
Hi Kimberley, I have 3 grands. Two are brothers, and the 3rd is a girl. Since they all were born not ever have my kids left my grands w/me at my house. This was so important to me as a child as I could walk to grandmas house and spent alot of special times w/her. Needless to say, this really impairs or maybe impales my heart would be accurate. My relationship w/my 2 sons and daughters-in-law is wonderful. No problem. They invite me to go to places with them, and that is fine but I would love to do a sleep over w/the grands-nope. Take them shopping-nope. This leave my heart broken. It is 43 miles one way to each of them. I have fibromyalgia which fatigue is a big issue. However I know when I am having energy to do something w/grands and when I can't and have discussed this w/my kids. My oldest grand is 12, next is 8, and 7. Perfect ages. I am afraid I will die and never have the fun and excitement any grandparent should have. Any ideas on what I c an do? My oldes is always telling me (and his mom) "I miss you grandma) Thanks for your ideas/help. Broken hearted grandma Barb
Sunday 10th of May 2020
Hi, Barb. That's so sad to miss out on having the Grands stay with you! I'm sorry. As you know, it's a bad time for all of us right now, so I'm not sure how to help. Have they given a reason for not letting the kids stay over or go places with you? I would try to discover the reason they are not letting you have these special times and go from there. Good luck!
Friday 10th of April 2020
Hi, What can Grandparents do when their adult children don't allow them to see their grandchildren only when they babysit because of work?
Friday 10th of April 2020
Are you saying you keep your children while their parents work? Have you let them know you'd like to see your Grandkids more? Do they give you a reason?