The public health recommendations to practice social distancing have impacted across society and no more so than the relationship between Grandparents and Grandchildren. South Africans – as around the world – are grappling to answer ‘How do to stay connected with my grandchildren and how do I help my kids (their parents).
Studies have shown Grandparents influenced Grandchildren’s beliefs and values shaping their perspective of what constitute a healthy, normal relationship through regular contact while 72% of grandparents think being a grandparent is the single most important and satisfying thing in their life according to the American Grandparents Association.
Staying connected with your Grandchildren is a matter of common sense applied to recommended social distancing during the Covid19 pandemic.
Grandparents living with their family must be isolated from the rest of the family if any of the members are not in isolation themselves. I have adopted the approach as a Grandparent living with my Grandchildren and kids that all of us having been in isolation for two weeks and now freely interact.
The impact of isolation has been considerably lessened with all of us – three Grandparents, two parents and a Grandchild – focussing on daily activities from online business activities to home schooling, exercising and routine chores.
Grandparents in isolation can in many instances consider using online connection (Facebook, Skype and others). Have fun with your Grandchildren by setting up the ‘Nana Academy’ or ‘Grandpa Games’ (Harvard Health Blog). The entertainment side of your approach can include educational additions. Regular time interacting with other members of the family and friends is also an important dimension.