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Visiting Grandkids From a Distance, The Old-Fashioned Ways

What do you do if your beloved grandchildren live far away, across the country or across the world?

If that's not tough enough, how do you stay in touch with these angels if you don't have a computer or a cell phone?

The new technology of the last decade or so is great, but if you don't have any of it, you can still stay close to your grandbabies.

If you're old enough to be a grandparent you are old enough to know the ropes of old-fashioned communication. And if you don't have a computer or a cell phone, chances are you've been staying familiar with the methods of the Dark Ages.

You know the drill.

Talk on the phone. To keep things affordable, so you can do this regularly and not just for special occasions, use calling cards, or get a flat rate for long distance.

Each grandchild will get a charge out of being the recipient of an individual phone call, just for him or her. And of course, every grandchild would get this special honor of personal attention.

Practice good phone etiquette, calling at times when you know they will be free to talk, avoiding times when you know things are busy at their place.

Some grandkids are talkative on the phone and some are not. Age may be a factor, but sometimes children just get tongue-tied on the phone.

That doesn't mean they don't want to be on the line with you. So be prepared to carry the conversation with your quieter grandchildren.

Sending things in the mail has been around longer than any of these other methods of communication. Write letters and send quick fun love-notes.

Ship them post cards, birthday cards, Christmas cards and cards for no occasion in particular. Ask them to write you back. Get them a magazine subscription, send them gifts.

Send tape recordings. Read one of the grandkids' favorite (short) book on tape. Read a book that they also have at their house, or send the book with the tape.

It will seem more like you are there with them if on the tape you tell them when to turn the page. Sing them a song. Send silly conversations between grandma and grandpa.

Video recordings are great to send and to receive. You can send them recordings that show some of the places you go, some of the people you know.

Grandma can tape grandpa playing with the cat. Grandpa can tape grandma with vegetables she just pulled out of the garden.

The kids can send videos of big events like their soccer game or their graduation. They can send tapes of them playing together or riding a bike.

Don't get stumped wondering what you should do. Don't worry about whether what you send is good enough, of course it is.

Just keep those avenues of communication open, and keep telling your grandchildren they are the most wonderful kids in the world.

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