As grandparents, one of the greatest things we can do is embrace technology to connect with our grandchildren.
Think about it.
Anyone under 25 has had technology in their hands since they could hold it. They cannot imagine a world without it like we can.
So, while I’m very much in favor of in-person communications and activities, along with lots of eye contact, I also believe we need to keep up to make the most of our relationships.
What does it look like to embrace technology with them?
Text, text, text.
While I resisted texting when it first became popular, this may be my favorite way to interact quickly with family members and older grandchildren. They may not chatter with us like they do with their friends, but what a great way to say a quick “I love you” or find out about their day.
Grandparents, please learn to share pictures or links to cool things online. Send drawings, short video funnies, or whatever you find that might make their faces smile.
Draw them out a bit.
Teach them to interact and share interests.
As they age, they’ll probably become more interactive as they learn to communicate at adult levels. I’m speculating on that as my oldest grands are early teenagers.
We’re well aware young people spend a lot of time on games. Learn to play one of their favorite electronic games with them.
Confession time: I have never liked digital gaming. While this may never be one of my ways to embrace technology, for others, it might provide a great connection point with grandchildren. Explore the games they like and see if you can find one that works well for you.
Apps, apps, and more apps
Another good way to embrace technology to connect with our grandchildren is to keep up with the latest apps they love. It shifts regularly, and age groups are into different apps.
Think about the most common apps on the market: Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok. If your grandchildren are old enough to be present on these apps, they are great ways to see what our little ones are doing and enjoying!
Interact with them!
Share their posts, send messages back and forth, or even send memes and things you think one another will enjoy.
If your grandchildren are too young for social media, consider using an app like Marco Polo or WhatsApp to stay connected in a family group chat. Marco Polo allows groups to only talk via video messages. What a fun way to stay connected! It's like a never-ending FaceTime...
One thing to remember as you embrace technology is online and digital safety. While you want to use technology to build relationships with grandchildren, keep settings private, don’t share pictures in public places, and never share locations. Our world is full of predators who prowl the internet for young people to exploit. Practice safety and guard your family’s most precious legacies.