an exclusive feature from Leslie Zinberg & Pam Siegel, authors of
Grandparenting: Renew, Relive, Rejoice
Whether you live far away or close to your grandchildren, in today’s reality most of us are not seeing our grandchildren up close. In fact, we are all doing “long distance grandparenting.” Our population of grandparents are particularly susceptible to Covid 19, so it’s really important to hunker down.
Here are 14 tips to help you survive during this surreal time:
- Practice self care by following the guidelines of staying home, washing hands, not touching your face, and keeping a good distance from others.
- Work on gratitude by taking in the good things you are experiencing each day, even if they are little things like noticing the trees. Gratitude builds contentment.
- Stay present and try not to obsess about the future. Take each day as it comes. All we really can control is what is here right now. Let the rest go.
- Practice patience with partners or loved ones. This is a hard time for all of us. Keep a sense of humor!
- Create a space in your house that is yours—for work, reading, meditating. Work on centering yourself and regulating your nervous system.
- Set an intention each evening about what plans you have for the following day: yoga, walk, read, talk with friends. Schedules are calming.
- Visit a virtual museum or zoo, see a virtual Broadway play, listen to the Met. All of this is now free online. You can even take online exercise classes, or simply do your own stretching.
- Make a dinner date with some friends. You eat at your house and they eat at theirs, but you virtually dine together and talk to each other. Or, have virtual cocktails. Social interaction improves your mood.
- Get on Facetime or Zoom and visit with your grandkids as often as you can. Seeing them and what they are doing really fills the soul.
- If you live close to your grandkids, drive by and wave. Virtual kisses and hugs are heart warming.
- Play a game, draw, or do yoga poses as a way to connect with your grandchildren online. There are games online like Uno, Scrabble, Monopoly, and more. Show them what you are doing. Did you just bake a cake, or make soup, or some delicious dish?
- Have the kids tell you and show you their school work or anything creative they may be doing. There may be a school project they want to share, or a dance they have been rehearsing on Tik-Tok, a game they are playing, or something they may have created in their free time that they are especially proud of.
- Set up a reading date each week where you can read to them or they can read out loud to you. Or, talk about a book they are reading right now. Sing songs, and if you play an instrument, bring out that guitar…
- For the younger grandkids, use finger, sock, or hand puppets to connect with them. They will love talking to the puppets, and probably even forget it’s you. For sure, they will love the interaction.
*Grandparents Pam Siegel, MPH, MFT, and Leslie Zinberg are co-authors of the recently published book, entitled Grandparenting: Renew, Relive, Rejoice, 52 Ways to Mindfully Connect and Grow with Your Grandkids. Available on Amazon: http://bit.ly/grandparenting-renew For more information, visit www.grandparentingrenewreliverejoice.com