In this age of kids getting sucked in by text messaging, My Space, and mind-numbing video games, there are things that grandparents can do to change it up a little. When the kids do not live in close proximity to you, it is easy for them to fall into out of sight, out of mind.
To keep you in their hearts and thoughts, here are six cool things for you to share with them. As grandparents, we are busy, too, so these ideas may save you some time.
Send them a prepaid calling card with instructions that it should be used for calling you and you only. It will make them feel that they have a personal connection to you. Even if they are teenagers with cell phones, kids like to feel that they have something just for themselves. I have found that this is a really good way to make them feel special.
Write a story about what you were doing when you were their age. They tend to think of us as old and may not remember that we were kids once, too. My grandson is twelve so I wrote him all about what I was doing at that age in as much detail as I could remember – what I liked to do, the crush I had on the class president, who my best friend was and why I liked her. I even pulled up pictures from the internet of the town I lived in then and the kind of car my parents drove, the kind of dog I had, what the clothes looked like back then. You can find information on what things cost then vs. what they cost now. (Their parents will appreciate this one, considering the cost of raising kids these days).
Take a picture of yourself, glue it to some cardboard, and then cut it up into puzzle pieces. Depending upon their age, you can make this simple or more difficult. My eight year old granddaughter got a huge charge out of this one.Put together several self-addressed, stamped envelopes so they can send you their drawings, stories, homework papers, etc. All they have to do is put the item in the envelope and have Mom or Dad mail it off to you. When I did this, I got a lot more correspondence from them and I was thrilled.
Design a simple family tree with anecdotes or something unusual you remember about each person in the tree. Without something like this, they might never know anyone further back than you or your parents.
Pick a day other than their birthday and call it something like GRANDMA LOVES YOU DAY or I MISS YOUR SMILE DAY. Send them a special homemade card commemorating this day. Be sure to mark it on your calendar to keep it alive each year.
Make the connection strong between you and your grandchildren. If you do, you will cherish these memories forever.