How to Relate to Your Grandkids in a Digital Age
Remember when you held your beautiful, new grandchild for the first time?
Chances are you were swept away with a familiar sense of love and protection for your new little boy or girl. As they got older, you were able to watch as they learned to crawl, walk and say their ABC’s. Eventually they started school, coming home with small cuts and bruises from the playground, but their never-ending love for life permeated every piece of your heart until you, too, remembered what it was like to be so innocent and carefree.
Now that your grandkids are into their teenage years and beyond, you may be finding it hard to stay connected. However, advancing technology has bridged the gap between grandparent and grandchild. And the good news? All you need is a little crash course in this new digital world to keep them close by.
Here it is.
SOCIAL MEDIA TUTORIAL
You may have heard of a few social media platforms your grandchildren are “on.” Here’s the most popular list and quick descriptions of each:
This is, arguably, the most popular platform used to keep friends and family apprised of what’s going on through photos and status updates. Facebook has become your grandkid’s one-stop-shop for communicating with friends, posting photos and deciding what events they will attend.
How you can use it: Create a free account on Facebook.com, then “friend request” your grandchildren to be able to see their photos and regular updates.
A recently emerged platform, Twitter has become popular among a young generation because it allows self-expression in short, easy segments. Twitter allows people to post updates, pictures and breaking news using 140 characters or less. However, more than any other subject, your grandkid probably uses Twitter to post their thoughts on particular events and subjects or to share something they found funny.
How you can use it: Create a free account on Twitter.com, then “follow” your grandchildren to have access to their “tweets” or updates. Initially, Twitter may seem overwhelming; however, there are plenty of online videos that can explain each of these features in more detail. Ultimately, it’s a thriving community bursting with information and a sense of connectivity.
While Facebook and Twitter are fueled by words, Instagram is fueled by photos. This platform allows your grandkids to connect with you through visual elements, sharing their experiences through their camera lens. Instagram also allows people to edit their photos by changing the tone and color and adding elements like frames and captions. With Instagram, you can see the world through your family’s eyes without having to be in direct contact.
How you can use it: Create a free account on Instagram.com, then “follow” your grandchildren to see their most recent photos on a weekly, daily or even hourly basis.
This platform operates a bit differently than the first three we covered. While Facebook, Twitter and Instagram allow your grandkids to share personal updates and photos, Pinterest allows them to pull images they find interesting from any web source to pin to an online inspiration board. For instance, if they like a particular outfit from American Eagle, they can “pin” that picture to a “board” on their Pinterest profile. Pinterest allows people to gather anything and everything they are interested in and stores it all in one place.
How you can use it: Create a free account on Pinterest.com, then “follow” your grandchildren to see what they’re pinning (a.k.a. what they’re interested in these days).
OTHER WAYS TO STAY CONNECTED TO YOUR GRANDKIDS
1. Create a Skype account.
Skype is a service that allows you to make calls over the Internet. In addition, if your cell phone, iPad or computer has a camera installed, you can see the person you’re calling. This makes Sunday night calls so much more interactive since you can see how big they are getting.
2. Play Words With Friends.
This is Scrabble in the digital age. Downloadable on your smart phone, this game allows users to play remotely. You can play with whomever you want and log back on when it’s your turn to play.
3. Send an email.
Chances are your grandkids check their email inbox more often than their own mailbox. With messages right at their fingertips, communicating is easy. So feel free to send them an email every once in a while. You’re bound to get a quick and speedy response.
4. Pick up the phone.
Don’t forget to call your grandchildren! They love talking to you; sometimes they are just so busy they forget to pick up the phone. A quick conversation can ease the heartache of missing them every time. They’ll love to tell you about all the cool things they’ve been doing lately. They’d probably even love a text from you, too!
With these tips, staying in touch with your grandchildren is easier than you think. Beyond these easy steps, we still highly recommend bringing our family together as often as possible, and Trilogy is the perfect location for it. Trilogy’s resort amenities make kids love to visit.
Sally Guggino, a Trilogy resident said, “Our grandkids have discovered the pool. There are quite a few people who bring their grandchildren out to the pool area. During the summer, they can stay with the grandparents or the aunts and uncles, but everyone is so well behaved.”
Let us know how you like to stay connected to your grandkids. Do you have any tips that work for you and your family?