Disclaimer: Devoted Grandma is reader-supported. If you purchase anything through my site, I may receive a small commission (at no cost to you). It helps keep the site alive, so thank you.
A few days ago, in my morning newsletter, I mentioned that I receive a lot of emails from grandmas who just don’t get to see their grandchildren. Some of them barely and some not at all.
There are a lot of reasons why. Whether you live far away or your children just won’t let you, there are always things in our power to do.
And I’m happy to say that so many other grandmas replied to my email with amazing advice for those in the situation above.
So if you’re missing your grandkids, know that you’re not alone. And I hope some of these thoughts, wishes, and pieces of advice help you.
PS: The first one is too funny. 😂
One way to see the grandkids send them a check but don't sign it, they will come. -Rose
I write to my grandchildren and send small gifts. I provided them with note cards and stamps so they can write me back! -Rebecca
I'm really lucky I get to see my grandchildren a lot but during lockdown I wasn't able to . I used to send them little notes and packets of sweets which they loved getting through the post. They then recorded messages on WhatsApp saying thank you which I enjoyed receiving just as much. -Mavis
A few actions we have taken to have time with our grandchildren. 1. We attend as many school and sports events as possible. 2. On weekends when we can’t see them, we get in a FaceTime call. 3. If we want to have them overnight, we try to coordinate a time when their parents have an adult event scheduled. 4. If their parents don’t have an event that requires us to babysit, we will mention the importance of us having them for an entire day or weekend. Getting it on the calendar even if weeks in advance gives everyone time to plan. 4. During the pandemic when visits were in the backyard or driveway, we would put letters, cards, word puzzles created with our family as a focus in the mail and kept our connection to them strong. Communication is the most important part if you aren’t seeing your grandchildren enough or not at all. I hope this helps someone. -Eileen
I make a video on my phone of books for my 5 &2 year old grandsons. I chose library books or books I buy. If I had bought the book, I mail it to the boys. They love hearing my voice, and me talking to them. They can even share the videos with their kids, after I’m gone. -Connie
I have some things I do with my grandkids and they with me. I buy packets of 10 little blank cards in the dollar store. Then every month at least I write an individual card for each child. I tell them how valuable and precious they are to me and encourage them in what they are doing at the time. I include a few dollars in each card ( I'm surviving on social security and this is doable. At a Thanksgiving dinner one time my 12 yr old grandson went around the table saying what each grand parent was famous for. When he got to me he said " and Gramma you're famous for all those letters you send to us!". I wanted to cry! Also my grandson and granddaughter call me on the phone and we play made up games over the phone line together! We've even played board games over the phone. They move whatever game piece I choose around the board and even take turns moving my piece!! -Denise
Hi. Considering advice. Hmmmm.one thing I began doing instead of Birthday gifts we do one of their favorite things. Maybe a favorite restaurant, see a movie. Go bowling. Bring a favorite meal to their house. I don't wait for them to contact me. -Charlene
As for not seeing my grandchildren I have had to decide it is their loss. They know I love them. I And thanks to one of your suggestions they get a letter from me every month. I send a gift for every birthday and every holiday. I am doing all I can for them. My motto in life is to not have any wish I hads. -Raylene
Advice to Grammas who can’t see their grandkids, or are estranged from them PRAY for them each and every day. 🙏🏼 -Sue
An idea I came up with for my grandchildren who are far away: 1. When I send a card, be it Christmas, Valentine, Easter or birthday, I always send each grandchild their own card separately. Children feel really important when they get mail. 2. I always send a letter in the card. I know it is not feeziable when they are really young, but at three and a half to four years old just a few lines that their parent can read. (How they are doing - what have they been doing - something simple you have been doing - and if you are planning to visit -things as such.). They look forward to it. -Joyce
While they were overseas in Slovakia and Austria, we “Skyped” every Sunday afternoon. I mailed them a package once or twice a month. This was very expensive, but I did it. I flew to Slovakia once a year for the 3 1/2 years they were overseas. Also, very expensive and a very hard trip, but… I had to see them, so I sacrificed. -Elizabeth
be a grandma to kids in your church or children in orphanages they all need a grand ma it is your own childrens lose for not allowing their children to know their grand ma it hurt however you can spread love to others even at the schools teaching them whats right and not the crap they are now being taught -Willy
As far as sharing advice, you can try calling/FaceTime and see if it’s possible to set aside a day/ time each week to communicate. If not, when you do get to see/talk to them, put your hurt aside and show them love. When I mail them their birthday cards, I include a note saying how I hope they’re doing good in school/sports and how much I love them… On a positive note, I keep the line to communication open and pray each day that they will be kept from harms way, and maybe, just maybe some day they will be able to show me respect. -Jo
When I don’t get to see my Grandson enough or get to spend time with him, I make sure to call him and remind him I’m thinking about him a lot and I love him immensely. I make the call intentionally just to him. -Yvette
The one thing for Grandma's that don't get to see their grandchildren is ask for a family reunion. And for the Grandma's to ask each grandchild to bring 3 special items to put in a Water proof container . out of the 3 items each Grandma picks out 1 item and puts that in a special place on her dresser no photos. And then the next time she sees that grandchild they bring another item to put in their bag and put out another item of the first 3 items that they pick out .And GRANDMA can see the grandkids change because each item will be different. If needed have the grandkids put their name on each item with a note of why this item is special to them at the time they wanted that item . The parent can do the same thing . It's called memories that Grandma and Grandpa's can cherish . -Annette
When I am not allowed to see my grandchildren I try to write letters and put them in a box to read later hopefully. -Deb
In response to not seeing one's grandkids very often, I purchased each of my grandkids an echo show. They can call me on it and because I have one too, they can see me also. They can also leave messages like goodnight grandma, miss you, love you are some that I have received in the past. -Linda
I don't have advice, however one thing I've done that caused a good reaction was to send little (dollar tree) toys in the mail. I've made a picture and sent stickers to finish the picture and send back to Grammy, I've sent a magnifying glass with a light to read with under the covers, Scavenger hunts asking for a photo of found items. My grand sons are 5 and 1 year old. For older children use zoom link to play games, make a code from keyboard to have secret messages. Read a book together and discuss favorite parts of each chapter (If they like to read). Or reak a cliff hanger to them and make them wait until next Grammy visit to continue! -Donna
I Facetime chat with my granddaughter frequently. We also play games via FaceTime. Dice games seem to work the best. Yatzee is a favourite. -Joanna
My grandchildren live in Maryland and I live in New Jersey. I help out when I am at their house. I treat for some meals out or takeout. I do crafts with the two year old and take him and his baby sitter to the park. When they visit me. We offer fun activities but usually my daughter just wants to relax. When we don't see each other for a period of time, we video call eachother. So stay up on technology. -Laura
Send Them Loving Cards and Letters, Facetime, or at least Text them how very much you Love and Miss Them Always!! XO -Linda
My advice to grandma not seeing or hearing from grandkids! Well the ones that have phone ! Bug the heck out of them,! There is video chat and a lot of different ones to use they will at least respond with something! Leave them all with messages not just one person. There is the old fashioned way too write a letter or send a card. Everyone likes getting cards. Just don't sit and do nothing do something! Bake a cake or cupcakes invite them over. Or cook a special dinner and ínvite all over to eat. That's all I can think of for now. -Janice
Hey - one way I stay connected with my grandkids when I can’t see them for awhile is to send them random cards. I found some postcards on Amazon that have random facts about animals that’s fun. Otherwise I’m assuming Grandmas FaceTime or get text videos of their grands. -Debbie
I have recently ordered Chirp and Chickadee kids magazines to be delivered to the 2 grandkids (that I don’t see very often of late). I started them with their first issue from the mag stand. I’m also thinking of sending them a note with a stamped return note and envelope inside. I’ll see how it’s received and responded to and let you know. -Catherine
Facetime send notes cards My grandaughter lived away and these were some of the things we did Also played games on computer together. -Rita
For the grandparents that don’t see the grandchildren start writing a book with pictures of what it was like when they were kids -it’s one way to get to know them thru words and pictures. -Debbie
FaceTime is what we use, since they are not in my state -Donna
Seek ways to connect with the parents that make the parents feel just as loved and important as your grandchild is to you. Parents never really admit it but they do get a little jealous when their mom or dad or both play favorites between the grandchild and parent. Although it’s not done on purpose it just sometimes happens when we’re around our grandkids. Take a class on pottery making or painting. You’ll can learn something you can teach your grandchild when you get to see them again. Basically it’s really about keeping your mind busy so time doesn’t feel as lonely when the grandkids aren’t around. And while in doing so your also building a list with a variety of things you can do with or for your grandkids all of which can build a greater bond and showing them they are loved and dear to your heart. When you spend time gaining knowledge and doing things that can benefit a child’s mind and spirituality that child will know your love for them and will return it by wanting to spend time with you and doing fun things, and that can be fulfilling to any grandparent around -Patty
I gave my daughter a Portal from Amazon at Christmas. I got to see and talk to my grandkids almost daily!! It runs thru messenger. Do a video call 1 or 2 times a week!! -Rachel
I usually send my grandsons birthday cards on their birthday with a gift card. And I make a point of visiting them every Christmas. That's when we get our loving hugs. The oldest gets a weekly text. -Mary
I got both families Amazon Alexa’s hoping the kids would use them to call but parents don’t like them for that and prefer FaceTime. I do send them postcards whenever we go on a trip. I also have given the kids magazine subscriptions so they get something from us once a month. Before holidays I’ll send a “care” package with gel stickers for the windows, simple crafts, etc. Whatever is easy to mail and kids can do an activity with. Valentine’s Day they get an inexpensive card and $5 to get donuts (the shop is 2 blocks away). We have rented a house several times and gone on vacation together. That’s been good for the relationship with the in-laws as well as our grandkids. -Carolyn
I guess my best advice would be that to enjoy every visit allowed, make as many memories as you can with the time allowed. If you have to bite your tongue in order to see your precious grandchildren, then do it! It is all worthwhile -Melissa
And that’s the last of them. Phew, quite a bit of wisdom and replies in there.
I hope it helped. You can always check out the new Devoted Grandma’s Circle if you’re still looking for some support and help navigating the challenges of grandmahood!