Most grandparents today are long distant grandparents. That means that their grandchildren, or some of their grandchildren, live two hours or more away. Most live much farther than that. For a large percentage of grandparents, none of their grandchildren live close.
We are fortunate to live in a day when technology gives us some advantages when it comes to connecting with long distant grandchildren and their parents. Our best friends have watched their two oldest grandchildren grow from birth into adulthood while living some 4500 miles across the pond. Skype, Facebook, email, cell phones, and occasional airfare bargains have made it possible to stay meaningfully connected.
While technology has certainly provided a significant advantage for grandparents today compared to 50 years ago, long distant grandparents still feel the pain of separation. Seeing their faces on a screen is not the same as being able to hug them or kiss them—to just be able to touch them and share spontaneous moments with them. It’s just not the same.
Intentionality Without Proximity
Yet, we may not have any choice in the matter. So, how can long distant grandparents make the best of this disadvantage caused by physical distance? How can we have maximum impact upon our grandchildren so that we stay connected and engage them in matters of life and faith?
I’ve asked Wayne and Marci Rice to share their story and how they have chosen to make the best of it. Some grandparents have lived with the long distance factor since their grandchildren were born. Others, like the Rices, who have lived close to their grandchildren and now find themselves separated by hundreds of miles, have to find a new way of keeping those relationships close.
Long distance grandparents are not doomed, or helpless to make a difference. Like any grandparent, our impact on a child’s life is determined more by our intentionality than our proximity. So, sit back and let Wayne and Marci Rice give you encouragement and hope. Over the next two podcasts, they will share how to use technology and non-technological means to keep the relationships alive.