What is Grand Distance Parenting?
Grand Distance Parenting is a platform for exploring connection with children from a grand distance. Grand Distance Parenting serves as a place where you can find tips, suggestions, stories and pictures of the many ways to connect both virtually via #Skype or #Facetime, through social media or messaging with family but also in our offline practices – mailing cards, and building strong bonds with family and friends when we are physically together. GDP is a growing community of individuals who seek to foster connection with family and friends from afar.
How can you become part of the community?
Connect with us! Follow us via Facebook or Instagram to get the ideas for fostering connections with children from afar and join the discussion via our closed Facebook Group, where you can post questions and provide tips for others navigating grand distance parenting.
Who is behind Grand Distance Parenting?
I am, Jewels, a mother of two young children, partner to a fab dad, and a researcher by day. We are a multilingual, multi-national family currently living in a country that is not of our respective birth countries. We are physically away from family, yet craving that connection and closeness that family yields from afar. GDP serves as an outlet for exploring what we do everyday. All content shared on the website, and affiliated social media pages is personally curated by me. A portion of the content documents how we as a family seek to engage with our various “homes” from a grand distance and foster connections and bonds for our children with the many wonderful people that have crossed our paths. I purposely do not show pictures of my children as to protect their identity; as I believe they can chose later in their life how they want to be represented online.
Where did the idea originate?
Grand Distance Parenting, originated as an idea when my son was born, almost 4 years ago. As I knew at that period of my life I was not going to be returning “home” – anywhere near where my family resides, but yet I was longing and missing the connection with family and also the bonds that I developed with my family as a child. I wanted to foster those same connections for my children and I was pretty certain that I was not the only one faced with challenges.
I believe that despite the physical distances that our modern world increasingly affords, the connections we have with family and friends can remain to be rich and meaningful through technology (both new -video chat, and old- letters, phone calls). I believe we do this by being intentional and purposeful in our practices of engaging, as well as explicit about our expectations among those that are a grand distance away, but with whom we want to stay connected.
This project finally got some wings while I was on my maternity leave taking care of my daughter at the end of 2017. And thus it is a work-in-progress, to explore grand distance parenting – staying connected with those physically away from us.