Teach how things used to be, but embrace new as well
THE young ones might refer to us as "fossils” behind our backs but I like to think that's just their way of saying we are experts in ancient history.
From the photos on our walls to the artefacts (think radios, record players and recliner chairs) on display throughout our homes and the tales we tell, we have a unique opportunity to teach our grandchildren that the world existed long before they became the centre of their parents' universe.
I've found kids are always fascinated by stories about when their parents were children. And they are never too young to start hearing the stories and looking at photo albums.
My two-year-old grand-twins can name everyone in the pictures on my family room wall - although it did take a while for them to figure out their mum has another name.
Another ancient art I intend to share with them as soon as they are old enough to appreciate it is the humble letter delivered to their home address by the postman.
I remember getting letters and birthday cards from my Nana, who we saw once or twice a year. There were also phone calls where we spoke very formally to her but the letters and cards seemed so personal and special.
My kids had a slightly different relationship with their grandma - they spent hours stretching the phone cord to the max and singing nursery rhymes with their grandma, who lived three hours away. They also loved to get "real” mail, as they called it.
It's important we maintain those "ancient” habits but it's just as important we don't get stuck in the past.
While we might stumble over the lingo that surrounds today's "i” technology, it's important to give it a red-hot go and just as important to not let the grandkids see your fear.
For those grandparenting from afar, modern technology could be considered the eighth wonder of the world.
Even two-year-olds can use a phone these days so try Face-Timing the grandkids if you don't get to kiss their cute little faces as often as you would like. You can even share the joy of reading them a bedtime story thanks to the magic of Face-Time.
For older kids, try setting up a Messenger chat group to share moments of your day with them. Encourage them to send you pictures of their latest school projects.
Whether you chat via snail mail or the internet, don't miss any opportunity to share your past, present and future with the grandies.