Retiring in Georgia: 6 ways to bond with your grandkids

Irene Skurla is interviewed by Vibrant Life Director Lynn Brink, who uses the OneDay app for senior citizens, on Tuesday, July 24, 2018 at The Village at Mapleshade in Plano, Texas. The app allows staff members to interview residents, then send the videos to residents’ family members. (Ashley Landis/Dallas Morning News/TNS)

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If you have grandchildren, staying in close touch with them is one of the most important things you can do. Nurturing this relationship — which is equally rewarding for both generations — takes some deliberate effort, but it’s well worth it as you form close, lasting bonds with your grandchildren.

The following six ways will help you bond with your grandkids, whether they live close by or father away:

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It’s your job to stay in touch.

You may sometimes feel as though your grandchildren don’t reach out to you, but this is a common complaint in any generation, huffpost.com says. Recognize that it’s your job to stay in touch with your grandkids, not the other way around.

Play games or watch shows together.

If you have a smartphone or iPad, you’ll have your choice of a lot of games you can play with your grandkids. Romper.com recommends several that are appropriate for different ages, including Roblox (which is similar to Minecraft since you can create your own “worlds”) and Mario Kart Tour (a racing game). The site also suggests bonding with grandkids while you watch a show or movie together using Netflix Party.

Spend one-on-one time with each grandchild.

If you have more than one grandchild, you may find yourself spending time with them together as a group, especially if some share siblings. But try to carve out some one-on-one time with each grandchild so you can strengthen your bonds even further, according to sixtyandme.com. Tailor your time together to each grandchild’s particular interests, such as attending their game or going to the movies.

Send some snail-mail their way.

Kids — especially younger ones — love getting things in the mail. Sending a letter or postcard is a good way to reach out to your grandkids, or try mailing a care package, passingdownthelove.com recommends. This is good for younger grandkids as well as teens and college-age ones.

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Use technology for video calls.

Take advantage of online chat technology to talk to and see your grandchildren. You have several choices, including Skype, FaceTime, Whatsapp and Zoom, that you can utilize to stay in touch with your grandkids who live farther away, gransnet.com. Even kids who are quite young are often amazingly adept at using this type of technology.

Don’t be afraid to have fun.

Let’s face it – kids want to spend time with grandparents who are willing to engage in fun activities and go with the flow, huffpost.com says. Be the fun grandparent who’s free with hugs and laughs, and your grandkids are likely to love spending time with you.

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