When Grandchildren Move Away

Forced economic hardships may require job relocation, here are some helpful tips for remaining close to grandchildren if they move away.

Due to the current economic nightmare, many families are making decisions to relocate, separating grandparents from their young grandchildren. This initial separation can be very traumatic. Once the initial shock has worn off, remain calm and follow these helpful tips.

Enjoy Your Time Together

Keep your emotions under control. Screaming and yelling usually won’t change things, and only make you regretful later. Your anger is probably pre-separation anxiety already setting in. Chances are your children have given this move plenty of thought, and are improving their lives. Your calm, supportive attitude will reassure your preschool grandchild that you will still be a part of their life and your time together will remain precious.

Plan a Visit

Begin researching the new location, familiarizing your self with travel information such as closest airport, train availability, bus schedules. Check on hotel, motel availability and rates. Your grandchild will feel really good when you explain exactly how you will be coming to visit, and where you will be staying. Alternative lodging might be available through affiliate churches, or even house swapping. The sooner you begin thinking about visiting, the better chance of having it materialize in the not so distant future, but remember, it won’t happen unless you actually take steps to do it. Set a realistic time on the calendar that is agreeable with the parents and do your best to keep it. Looking forward to your visit will help your young grandchild when its time to leave.

Photograph that Grandchild

Immediately put together a photo book of just you and your grandchild. Take special pictures of you both at the park, or driving in your car. Cooking and eating together, playing in the yard at your home. Get someone to help. Photos of familiar settings and the activities you have grown to enjoy together will keep you close even though you are not with them like before. Make duplicate copies and a picture book both you and your grandchild.

Build Memories

Plan a special event with just your grandchild or grandchildren before they move away, maybe an overnight trip to a hotel, or a camping outing. Plan a picnic or fishing excursion. Personal time together will build memories and keep them closer to you when they are gone. Go to a toy store and “window” shop. Knowing what they are interested in will help when its time for a birthday, or a gift to bring when you visit.

Renew Yourself

Keeping a good attitude by looking forward to future visits will help this transition be a positive one. Realize you will miss them and begin to plan new activities for yourself that will ease the pangs of separation. Join one new club or organization. Call an old friend for coffee or begin emailing. Volunteer at the local library. It will soon be time for the kids to visit or for your own visit to see your grandchildren.

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