Kayann Marceline is a long distance grandmother to six grandchildren. And she’s not alone. About 45 percent of grandparents live 200 or more miles away from at least one of their grandchildren. Marceline lives in St. Louis, Missouri, and her grandkids live in Oregon and Belgium.
She has been working at staying connected with her brood for fifteen years and shares what she’s learned in her new book Love Across the Miles: How to Stay Close to Long Distance Grandchildren. Her mission is to spread the word that no matter how far grandmas and grandpas live from their grandchildren, they can still form and maintain close, loving bonds.
Her book is filled with ideas and suggestions for forming lasting bonds with grandchildren of all ages, no matter how distant they may be. She begins with the simplest advice of all: make the time to listen to everything your grandchild has to say because that’s how the bonding begins.
Marceline gives ideas for homemade gifts that tap into your talent and your grandchild’s interests. She includes a chapter on keeping the peace with 15 tips to help you get along with your children and children-in-law. Two of my favorites are:
Swallow your pride and be the first to extend the olive branch in the event of a conflict. Your relationship with your grandchildren may depend on it.
Every precedent you set for your first grandchildren will need to be repeated for future children. Think before you indulge (college funds, savings accounts, etc.) or you may suffer the resentment of your kids whose children come along later in life.
She offers sound advice about researching what your grandchildren like before you show up with a gift and recommends http://www.hearthsong.com as a great source for gifts for young nature lovers and scientists.
Another chapter includes how to prepare for a visit from your grandchildren that includes foods, safety, and rules. She includes dozens of fun activities like sewing, scrapbooking, knitting, making jewelry, and outings.
She’s also got tips on how to find the best airfares, how to take care of yourself, and most important of all why grandparents and grandchildren need each other.