A Mom’s Mission to Keep Her Kids and Their Grandparents Connected
The Importance of Keeping Grandparents Connected to their Grandchildren
Having grandparents present in their grandchildren’s lives is truly a gift. Grandparents have lived through many years where they have so much wisdom, so many stories to tell, and experiences to share. Most of all, having them present gives their grandchildren a better sense of who they are and a true appreciation of their roots and traditions that have been passed down.
Furthermore, grandparents are also a great help when grandchildren come across challenges in their lives. Times may have been different for the grandparents, but they have this unique, expressive quality where they seem to hold most of the answers to life’s hiccups. Whether the issue is an academic situation, a question about a family recipe, or a difficult friendship, grandma and grandpa always have a story to back up a similar experience. For this alone, it is important that kids stay connected to them. They can learn so much from them. Especially in these times, where many kids feel the pressures of social media, having a grandparent available to talk to for support can positively impact a child’s life.
On the flip side, grandparents having a consistent interaction with their grandchildren is great for their soul. They feel needed, trusted, and important. It helps the elderly mentally as they are constantly exercising their brain and thought processes. It gives them a sense of purpose. Families that stay connected provide a concrete balance and foundation to living a stable and healthy life.
Noticing a Disconnect Between My Kids and their Grandparents
With that being said, as a mom, the biggest challenge I am continuously facing with my kids is that they are not in contact with their grandparents as often as I would like them to be. The reason is mainly because of the physical distance between us. After I got married, I decided to move out of the state I grew up in. I purchased a home with my husband, and we are currently raising three children. My parents, nor my in-laws, followed as I had hoped. Early on, the distance was ok. We lived 1.5 hours away, but while my family was growing, my parents and my in-laws were eager to travel and stay for 4-5 days at a time while the grandchildren were young. It was exciting for them and for us as we started to make happy memories in our new home.
Under these circumstances, this went on happily for years. My children were not waking up with their grandparents every single morning, but they came often enough that I felt they all were very much engaged. My kids were learning and sharing all different kinds of experiences with their grandparents.
Unfortunately, as most things go in life, things started to slow down as the years passed. Our kids were getting older and had demands to meet with sports, school, and friends. Sadly the grandparents they once knew as children began to move slower, not travel as often, and communication between them started to decrease. It made me sad. Seeing this divergence made me realize as a mom that things will only continue to break down if a change was not made. It was very important that my children stay connected with their grandparents somehow, but solving this equation of how was a tough one.
Using Amazon’s Echo Show With Alexa
With the technological advances of today, the world of the Alexa Echo Show entered our lives. It was exciting and new to see what the possibilities were with this device. This device has truly become a game-changer in our households. In fact, this was the answer to the difficult equation I spoke about regarding family connectivity that we were currently facing. The Echo Show now enables grandparents to still be a part of the kids’ daily lives even when they cannot physically be here with us. My kids and their grandparents can now simply call using Alexa or send messages with Speak2 Family on the Echo Show when they want to hear from one another. Since it’s so easy to do, the communication between both has increased a great deal. It has made this mommy very happy, and quite honestly, relieved.
We currently have the Echo Show in our kitchen. One day my daughter and I were discussing a new chocolate chip cookie recipe. She stopped and said, “we need to bring grandma into this conversation because she makes the best chocolate chip cookies in the world!” With a simple command, “Alexa, call grandma,” grandma was present in the conversation giving us advice! It was as if grandma was in the room! Seeing grandparents live on the screen makes the conversation more enjoyable because the kids can see their expressions and reactions to the stories and questions being shared. It’s a more enjoyable experience for both parties. Now having grandma and grandpa present when we are a distance apart doesn’t seem like a challenge anymore. With this device, we all feel that sense of closeness and involvement. For many grandparents today, they feel very separated and isolated from their ever-growing family’s lives. This device is the key to removing negative feelings like these.
The Power of Dropping In
Using Alexa to Call Grandma!
One of my favorite memories while using this device was when Grandma Margaret just popped in on Alexa through the Alexa Drop In feature. She was calling my youngest one’s name out through the screen like she was in our home! My little one got so excited that she screeched and ran down the steps to the Echo Show. They just started talking about how their day was going. It was as if Grandma came by the house. On this particular day, there wasn’t any big news to share, and it wasn’t anyone’s birthday. It was a simple conversation, but you know what, both my daughter and her grandma were smiling from ear to ear. My littlest was so engaged and curious. She also felt like a big girl using the device to connect to her grandma.
That day was a simple chat between grandmother and granddaughter that left such a huge imprint on my heart. My mother-in-law felt she now knew what everyone was up to even though she wasn’t physically with us, and that made her content. The Echo Show enabled this connectivity where without it, a phone call would never have had this same effect.
An Easier Way to Connect
Currently, there is more of an eagerness for my kids to drop in with the Alexa Echo Show because they feel as if they are all in one room together. This device has definitely changed our family’s communication patterns for the better because it’s not the constant reminder of me saying pick up the phone and call your grandparents. My children now want to connect and they do it on their own. Whether they drop in with a simple question, or with something special to share, this new way of interacting is much more entertaining. There is a great feeling of closeness that you do not receive when picking up the phone. Why? I think it’s because you can see one another’s faces while in your own environment with the Echo Show. It adds a realness to the experience, making it feel much more natural, engaging, and simply more enjoyable.
In sum, whether grandparents are face to face with their grandchildren or present by an electronic device, engagement is important as they can help shape and mold the upbringing of their grandchildren. In turn, this gives grandparents a sense of involvement and importance in their grandchildrens’ lives. To me, this is a win-win situation for the whole family.