5 ways to stay connected no matter the distance

Celebrate the bond with your grandkids this National Grandparents Day

This article originally appeared on grandparents.com. To learn more click here.
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Sunday, September 13, is National Grandparents Day – a special day dedicated to celebrating grandparents and family love. If you don’t live near your family, it can be tough to stay connected, making holidays like this one feel a bit lonely. To help you stay in touch and feel close to your grandkids, even if you’re far away, try these tips:

Call—or text

It may seem obvious, but often we forget to pick up the phone and tell the ones we love how much they mean to us. If your grandkids are old enough to have their own smartphones, consider striking up a text message conversation—100% of kids are doing it, according to the Pew Research Center. Today’s smartphone models have lots of user-friendly features, like the Alcatel Pop ICON smartphone from TracFone with its easy-to-use interface, large 5” touchscreen, hearing aid compatibility and hands-free speaker. And, if you already have a tried-and-true favorite smartphone, TracFone offers a BYOP (Bring Your Own Phone) program, so you can activate your compatible device and enjoy coverage on one of America’s two largest 4G LTE networks.

Be pen pals

Remember how exciting it was to get mail when you were young? Not many kids today know how refreshing it can be to receive a good, old-fashioned letter, postcard, or care package in the mail. Want to enhance your phone conversations with grandchildren? Send them a gift with a special purpose: a creative, decorative box that can be used to collect their artwork, math tests, and a cool shell they found at the beach — anything they might be excited to tell you about.

Video chat

These days, you can hear AND see your family with video chat, and there are a variety of ways to use video calling to stay connected with your loved ones. Skype and Gmail both offer video calling options that are simple to use, and most importantly, free. All you have to do is download them onto your computer and register; and, there’s a good chance your grandkids already have them. It’s a useful way to feel close to your family if you can’t afford a trip away together.

Shared activities

Another fun way to strengthen your bond with family is to participate in the same activities and then discuss them together. Suggest that your grandkids check out a new family-friendly movie or crack open a new book — then you do the same. Better yet, if there is a physical activity that both you and your family enjoy, like tennis or golf, encourage them to participate and then rehash the experience together over a phone call.

Take trips together

If you can afford it, nothing beats bridging the distance by spending time together in-person. Try something new and visit a city located in between where you and your family live – maybe a place that you’ve never been to. It’s exciting to explore somewhere new together, and you’ll be able to make memories that will last for a lifetime. Having a special place to visit creates a connection that you can all share.

Living apart from your family can be difficult, but with the above, easy tips, you can stay connected and closer than ever.