Grand Parenting from a Distance

A platform that explores the ways in which connection can be fostered from a grand distance. Weekly tips and an online discussion group where we discuss building and maintaining quality connections with children from afar.
GRAND DISTANCE PARENTING
It wasn't a typical #birthday, due to #corona meas It wasn't a typical #birthday, due to #corona measures we kept the celebration small and had a few #playdate parties instead of one big one. 
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We asked friends and #family to submit #birthdaygreetings in the form of pictures, videos and messages on a @kudoboard, which brought a huge smile to the face of our now #7yearold!! 
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We opened #presents and sang #happybirthday with family and friends throughout the day on @zoom_video_communications and @skype, which meant blowing out candles on some untraditional #cakes - from a #donut to a #pancake! 
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Had a #coronaproof #picnic in the park with a few others, and made crazy drawings on our front window to let everyone know about the big day.
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 Although, it all went well, the highlight really was a week later - our first trip out of #Belgium post corona border openings to the #theNetherlands to celebrate with #Oma and family (whom we had not seen since February). Nothing compares to the love between #grandparents and #grandchildren, not even the guilt of a #mother to ensure a birthday was the best it could be in #lifeinthetimeofcorona, no a hug from #grandma cures all woes. 
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#granddistanceparenting #longdistancefamily #grootouders #grandpa #skypewithgrandma #facetime  #momlife #son #motherhood
"Hey #grandma, come sit with me in the chair. Chec "Hey #grandma, come sit with me in the chair. Check out the #tiedye shirt I made at #school. We made it by doing..." ***
Regular chats with your #grandchildren are important for facilitating connection. #longdistance chats may be a little different than the real thing, but you can still "sit" together. So pull up a chair #grandparents, and ask your #grandchild to bring you with them and just chill. Enjoy!
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#granddistanceparenting #longdistancefamily #WhatsApp #facetime #skypewithgrandma whatever you use just #callhome #rockingchair #summertime #lazydays
Happy, relieved, exhausted, overwhelmed, sad, and Happy, relieved, exhausted, overwhelmed,  sad, and tired are how I would describe how I feel as a #parent, now that my children are back for the last three weeks of school full time in #Belgium! ***
This period of isolation, #lifeinthetimeofcorona, has been intense having two kids under 6 at home and keeping up with #homeschooling and our jobs that are both full-time. I am delighted that they are both back in school and #chalkboard #writing can remain a school activity! And I can go back to just being a #mom, instead of a full time support teacher (as the #teachers did the real work!) of #math, #spelling, writing, science, gym and keeping our sanity together without the usual activities we use to distract us such as #playgrounds or #libraries. I am, we are, also really missing family, following this period of isolation. Our annual trip to the USA to visit my family was canceled due to #covid19 policies restricting flights, and the thought of not knowing when we can fly back to hug our #grandmas and play with our #grandpas is frankly kinda devastating. It is these visits that fill us up on love and attention; give us #granddistanceparenting parents a break from the intense and full on zero help from #family as we live faraway insanity that demands us to be on our #bestgame all the time, for fear of crumbling, that we call our life; but our visits let us refill our cups in many ways. And I will be missing that recharge I count on every summer.
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How are you experiencing this return to school, the change of summer plans to visit family "back home", and the new rhythms of these new phases of reopening? ***
#longdistancefamily
Sledding with #grandpa! *** Who would have thought Sledding with #grandpa! ***
Who would have thought I would be digging through the winter clothes come #summer and reconstructing a #winterscene of early #antarctic #explorers for my #sevenyearold #futurefilmmaker 's #antarcticadventure; nor that an #indoorwinterland with a #sled and fake #snow would be so fun in #June, and especially for showing off to the #grandparents! ***
#granddistanceparenting #longdistancefamily #facetime #kidsactivities #grandmasquilt #christmasinjuly came early...
Nothing like a #spaceflight to start a conversatio Nothing like a #spaceflight to start a conversation with #familyfromafar. Are you watching the @nasa @spacex #dragonflight, too? 🚀🛰🌠
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We are in our #spacesuits (thanks #Oma), rewatched the #launchamerica #launch 5 times this morning!!, exchanging messages with friends and #family about how cool it all is!, and making a #spacehelmet from cardboard as we watch the #nasalivestream, and skim through our fav #space #books - #curiosity @markus_motum & het grote #boek van de #ruimte @dominicwalliman @benjinewman. ***
#granddistanceparenting
We are so happy here, as in #Belgium the playgroun We are so happy here, as in #Belgium the playgrounds have reopened  Even had to ring up the #grandparents to share in all fun, as I chased these two around the playground. ***
Lots of hand washing pre- and post- playing, and keeping our distance from others of course. #granddistanceparenting takes on a new meaning now of keeping my distance from other parents, but for good reason. ***
#lifeinthetimeofcorona #grandchildren #playground #climbing #playtime
One more day sweetheart and your ten long weeks of One more day sweetheart and your ten long weeks of longing will end, as (some) #playgrounds open again in #Belgium. The longing for going down that slide, climbing, swinging; but also for things we took as normal- going to the #library, #grocery store, #gymnastics, #school, is coming to an end (albeit likely temporary). ***
We were isolating for a good reason, and continue to keep our #socialdistance and wear our #masks to protect eachother to reduce the spread of the #virus as things start opening up again. This period was intense for everyone in their own ways- the healthcare workers taking care of our most vulnerable, #teachers prepping for new ways of learning and teaching, single people dealing with loneliness and boredom, and #families finding new ways to function without school, sports and all the normal activities we partake in outside of the home. We have all  experienced something unprecedented (and still are of course as this is not over). Being a #parent to #littleones during this #coronacrisis hasn't been easy, especially when we couldn't give them much certainty nor frankly still can. But we are managing and I am ever more grateful for my #longdistancefamily but also my #friends near and far that send messages and pictures. It's the longing that hurts, but we are finding #bandaids to mend our tears and fears. 
#granddistanceparenting
21 questions, guess what's on my head, any guessin 21 questions, guess what's on my head, any guessing game will work for encouraging interaction between #children and #family from afar in a #virtualcall. Since it was #bathtime and the #school theme is water, our #guessinggame with #grandma focused on #aquaticanimals. ***
Which #games do you play with your #grandparents during your #callshome? Has anyone tried #battleship? We have also had success with #yahtzee and #pictionary. ***
#granddistanceparenting #grandchildren #giveajingle via #facetime #skype #zoomcall whatever you use to connect with #longdistancefamily #grootouders #oma
"Look at our ducklings #grandma and #grandpa!", sa "Look at our ducklings #grandma and #grandpa!", says my son with joy as we show off the two broods of #ducklings that inhabit our local park as onlookers stare at us as we casually talk to the #grandparents as if they were right there on the bench with us. And why the heck not?! We bring our #longdistancefamily with us every where- they have been on #bikerides with us, at #school performances, #rugby tournaments, #picnics and so on. They are only a phone call away in our minds; although the majority of them live an ocean away and the other side of the #family in a neighboring country, they are part of our lives just as much.
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How do you bring your family into your children's life despite living #faraway from each other? Or if you are a grandparent, how do you engage with your #grandchildren virtually? *** Also can you spot how many ducklings there are at #parkdevijvers? HINT: There is a brood in the water and another #sunbathing.
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#granddistanceparenting #facetime #skypd #whatsapp whatever #callhome #grootouders #lifeinthetimeofcorona
Just a normal #sunnymorning here- cleaning our #sc Just a normal #sunnymorning here- cleaning our #scooters, eating hard-boiled #eggs, while enjoying the warm #morningsun with Oma on the #frontsteps. Yep, that's #Oma there in the corner, on the phone. ***
Reimagine your first #coffee of the day or the first #kidsactivity you do by integrating #grandparents into your everyday life. ***
#granddistanceparenting #longdistancefamily #WhatsApp
#facetime #skype whatever call #grandma #grandpa #grootouders!! #lifeinthetimeofcorona
#stadgent #urbanliving #sidewalkstories

And we are loving our #microstep, btw.:P
Homeschooling week 8...how are you holding up mama Homeschooling week 8...how are you holding up mamas and papas and distanced #grandparents?
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Never thought I would be doing #distancelearning with my #3yearold, but thanks to some awesome #teachers and a fantastic #school she is learning all about bears, doing fun #mathgames, practicing writing and doing #crafts through @seesawlearning; in addition to all the normal everyday life stuff that happens outside of a virtual or physical #classroom- doing #math through #baking #muffins and picking up sticks in the #park, helping her #bigbrother with his projects, folding laundry, cleaning house, calling #grandma, and just playing!!! How are you keeping your little ones busy at home during #lockdown?
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#granddistanceparenting #longdistancefamily #ictgames #virtualclassroom #preK #lifeinthetimeofcorona
Happy Mother's Day! So happy to be the #mama to th Happy Mother's Day! So happy to be the #mama to these two! And all the adventures that #motherhood brings with raising them. ***
Hope all you #mamas and #grandmothers and #aunts and who ever needs to be put in the sunshine a bit today, have a lovely day!
And don't forget to call #Oma and #grandma and your #mother to give them a #virtualhug or show off your drawings today.
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#granddistanceparenting #longdistancefamily #mothersday #grandchildren #mamaduck #ducklings #stadgent #parkdevijvers
Get #creative this week with your calls with #fami Get #creative this week with your calls with #family and give them a #live #puppetshow from a #homemade #puppettheatre and with #handmade #puppets! ***
This one kept us busy the entire morning to design and #paint the theater, and then design, draw, color and cut out the puppets, and then dream up stories for the shows, and then filled an entire call with a detailed #jungle adventure for #grandma and #grandpa! ***
#granddistanceparenting #longdistancefamily #grandparents #grandchildren  #poppenkast #poppen #kidsactivity #lifeinthetimeofcorona #isolationcreation #grootouders #videocall #facetime #learningthroughplay
I wanted to post this earlier this week, but I was I wanted to post this earlier this week, but I wasn't sure what to write. So I will just say this- facilitating connection between #children and #family from afar isn't just an affair between #grandchildren and #grandparents, #auntsanduncles, or #friends, it also takes serious efforts by the adult callers on both sides. ***
So today, a week before we celebrate #mothersday here in #Belgium, I want to say hi! - this is me talking to my #mother @craftysewingandquilting in the #usa, as the kids hop back in and out of our #videocall running through the house. And thank you mom! But also all of our other grandparents and family that are patient and creative and make the best of this #longdistance! ***
#granddistanceparenting #facetime #whatsapp #skype #skypewithfamily whatever you use call 'em #oma #grootouders
Doing #homework with #grandpa, can lead to a great Doing #homework with #grandpa, can lead to a great interactive #videocall. My #firstgrade son was assigned to weigh four different objects and develop statements about which were heavier and lighter. Grandpa also had some objects and had us guess which objects were heavier and lighter, and how you can not tell their weight from the shape or size alone. Lots of learning and fun happening here! ***
How are you integrating your everyday life with #family from afar? ***
#granddistanceparenting #longdistancefamily #firstgrademath #math #mathsactivities #learningthroughplay #grandparents #grandchildren #facetime #mathforkids #quilt made by @craftysewingandquilting  #videochatwithkids
Grandma and Grandpa were out running with us throu Grandma and Grandpa were out running with us through the #woods today, as we #climbedtrees and looks for #frogs, and blew out #dandelion weeds. When you call #longdistancefamily from anywhere, they really can be with you everywhere! ***
And a very Happy #kingsday2020, Fijne #koningsdag to all the fellow #Dutchies out there! Some of us arewearing our #oranje! We are missing eating #tompouce and playing games with #friends, but #stayhome as there will be another #party. ***
#grandparents #grandma #grandpa #videochat #videochatwithkids #forestwalk #grootouders #nederlanderinbelgie #grandchildren #skypecalls #facetime whatever!! #omabellen #lifeinthetimeofcorona
Hopping into the #weekend like... *** #granddistan Hopping into the #weekend like...
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#granddistanceparenting #longdistancefamily #trampoline #jump #outdoorplay #lifeinthetimeofcorona #selfisolation #grandparents #grandchildren #facetime #skypecalls but I think this one was on #WhatsApp #minitrampolineworkout w/#grandma #backyard
What's your schedule like during #lifeinthetimeofc What's your schedule like during #lifeinthetimeofcorona? ***
We start #homeschooling as early in the day as possible (following a good breakfast and some #playtime of course) when we all have the most #patience and can focus. We leave our calls with #family and #friends, #outdoorplay, and #freeplay for the afternoons when we are all getting a little #stircrazy. It is in these sunny, quiet, focused moments that I feel so #grateful for being home with these two, and then in the afternoon when I am trying to balance #wfh and #conferencecalls, #cooking, reading the news about #covid19 in #Belgium and abroad, and feeling overwhelmed that I try to remind myself of these #peacefulmoments. Finding your #coronacalm is so necessary!
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#granddistanceparenting #longdistancefamily #coronahomeschool #onlineschool #maths #phonics #numberbonds