It is hard when your child has far away or missing grandparents. Grandparents are an important part of a child’s life. If your child doesn’t have grandparents nearby or if your child's grandparents have passed on, it is important to try to help them with that need. These are some things you can do to help them when they have far away or missing grandparents.
1. Find Some Adoptive Grandparents
If you child has far away or missing grandparents, there are several different things that you can do. One thing you can do is find them some ‘adoptive’ grandparents. This would be an older couple that would be willing to fill this part in your child’s life. It may seem that this is hard to find but there are actually a lot of older people who would love to do this. You may have to look around a bit but you are sure to find them with persistence.
2. Expose Your Child to Older People
Children need to learn to be around older people. It is important that they learn that people age and what valuable contributions they can give you. If your child’s grandparents are missing in their life or live far away, you can still choose to expose them to older people to give them the chance to interact. You can try to find some adoptive grandparents or you can find some other options. You can help your child get acquainted with some older people from church or visit and volunteer at a local nursing home as a family.
3. Encourage Their Relationship with Far Away Grandparents
If your child has grandparents that live far away, they can still have a relationship with them. Of course it won’t be the same as if they lived nearby but it is a relationship. You can encourage them to call grandma and grandpa. They can make pictures or write cards to mail to them. And if your child’s grandparents are on board with it, there are all kinds of technologies they can use to stay connected.
4. Tell Them about Their Grandparents
You can help them feel more connected to their grandparents by telling them about them. Their grandparents may have passed on, not be in the picture for some other reason or live far away, but you can still share stories about them. Tell them funny stories about when you were growing up. Share your parents’ history with them. If you don’t, they may never know it.
5. Be the Missing Link
You can be the missing link between your child and your parents. You can help them to form a bond across the miles, if distance is the issue. Share all of the sweet and funny things that your kids are doing. Send pictures and little tidbits to entertain them. Help your child communicate with them by setting up Skype or helping them dial their number. Your efforts will make a huge difference in their connection.
6. Find Other Adults to Be Involved in Your Child’s Life
If there are no grandparents or adoptive grandparents available, be sure to fill that spot other loving adults in their life. It might be an aunt, uncle or cousin. Whoever is in your child’s life and loves them and wants to contribute to their childhood, allow that. Welcome it. As much as we love our children, they need more than just their parents in their life.
7. Understand Their Feelings
Your child may be sad sometimes because they can’t spend time with their grandparents like other kids their age do. Understand their feelings and let them know you sympathize with them. Try to come up with an alternative solution for them in those situations. Maybe you could offer to go do something special with them. It isn’t exactly the same but knowing that they have a mom and dad that love them and are devoted to them can help a whole lot.
These are 7 things you can do to help your child deal with missing or far away grandparents. What ideas can you add to this list? I am sure everyone can share ideas here!