Teresa Pitman of Guelph, Ont., fondly remembers the regular care packages she and her sister received from their British grandmother during their childhood. Back then, transatlantic phone calls were a rare luxury, especially since Teresa’s grandmother didn’t have a telephone in her home. But letters describing her day-to-day activities, and English comic books and chocolate bars, made Teresa and her sister feel as if they were a part of their gran’s life.
Today, we have even more tools at our disposal for staying in touch with grandchildren who live a long distance away. And the average grandparent may well be busier, and more active than their own grandparents were.
However, a close, loving relationship between grandchild and grandparent is just as important as ever. In fact, research suggests that such bonds benefit both generations.
For a story intended to give new and expectant grandparents some inspiration on how to foster such connections, I spoke to some ‘seasoned’ grandparents (including my friend, Teresa, now a grandma of ten; my own mom, who has six grandkids and three great-grandkids; and one of my aunts, who had a hand in bringing up four of her grandchildren. The result, this Good Times wellbeing feature from 2018: ‘Building a Bond With Your Grandchildren.’
A big thank-you to the interviewees who so kindly shared their time and knowledge:
- Robert Brown of Bedford, NS.
- Marlene Cook of Port Alberni, BC.
- Shelley Haggart of Windsor, Ont.
- Teresa Pitman of Guelph, Ont.
- Nicki Rooker of Penticton, BC.
- Dr. Kelly Dean Schwartz, PhD, associate professor of school and applied psychology (SACP) in the University of Calgary’s Werklund School of Education.