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How To Keep A Relationship With Kids and Grandparents...

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With all of today’s modern technology and the advent of social media, busy working mothers can stay in touch with friends and family across the country and all around the world. According to Pew Research, while the telephone still reigns supreme as our primary source of communication, here in the US, more grown children are keeping in touch with friends and family through emails, texts and social media compared to their global counterparts.

As grown children raising our own kids, we’re often losing touch with our parents inside our busy lives and hectic schedules. Are Grandma and Grandpa falling through the cracks connecting with their children and grandchildren? These are important relationships that should be cherished and not set aside solely for birthdays and holidays. So how can we open these doors of communication during the rest of the year?

DIVISION OF TECHNOLOGY

Part of the problem with today’s generation gap is the technological divide that exists between millennials, those coming of age at the turn of the century, and the baby boomers who make up most of our senior sector today. When most of today’s grandparents were teenagers, the single telephone that existed in their household was usually anchored to kitchen wall and our one-and-only television set was in the living room containing only three or four network stations.

Today, our youngsters are overwhelmed with media from YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, cable and satellite stations that offer a seemingly endless number of choices. They are also accessing them on their handheld devices whenever they’re not already texting, posting or pinning on social media platforms.

BRIDGING THE GAP

One way we can get these two generations on the same page is by bridging the technology gap that exists between them. Introducing our grandparents to things like smartphones and social media can open them up to the world where today’s children are most the active and playful, online.

Nowadays, kids are embracing technology at younger ages and while they are fluent on the internet, often our seniors are struggling with things like “selfies” and emoticons. It only stands to reason that the younger generation should be teaching the older crowd how to communicate online and and with their handheld devices, specifically:

  • The basics of texting

  • How to take and send a picture with their smartphone

  • Social media and networking 101

Perhaps at your next family get-together, kids can sit down with the grandparents and find new ways to connect with them online.

PICK A FAMILY DAY

On a personal note, even though I usually talk to my mom two or three times a week, sometimes things get hectic and time gets away from us. So we decided to pick a day, it’s talking Tuesday for us, that no matter what is happening, one of us will call the other, and we do just that. So far it has worked out great!

Try choosing a day that you’ll all commit to making at least one phone call per week, Family Friday or Speak Up Saturday that you, the kids and grandparents will all communicate via the telephone. Take it a step further and select one day each month that you’ll get together over lunch or have a pizza and movie night. If distance is a problem, there’s always Skype and Facetime.

With a little planning, some education and instruction, we can all stay closer and communicate more. Family is important, so let’s embrace them along with today’s technology and we’ll all be happier and more well-informed.

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