7/8/2020 | By Terri L. Jones

The other day, a friend told me that her son had refused to let her hold her month-old grandson for the first time because she had recently been in a large gathering. While she had been masked, her son and daughter-in-law just didn’t think it was safe. She understood, but she was frustrated nonetheless because of just how important her grandkids are to her.

The pandemic has affected all of our relationships – friends, spouses, and parents/kids. But the grandparent/grandchild relationship is based almost entirely on hugs, snuggles, and other close physical interaction; and it seems this relationship has taken the biggest hit of all. (Try explaining to a 3-year-old why they can’t sit on Grandma’s lap and instead have to talk to her through a computer!)

Never underestimate the ingenuity of a grandparent when it comes to seeing their grandbabies, though. Check out some creative ways that grandparents are safely staying connected with their little ones.

Touch-Free Zone

One grandma has enjoyed visits with her young grandchildren in their front yard, with Oba in the grass and the grandkids on the front porch. The parents have tried to keep the kids at a safe distance; on occasion, however, the little ones have run over and grabbed their Oba around the legs. “It’s worth the occasional risk,” she said.

A Pane of Protection

To prevent those inadvertent hugs and touches, some visits between grandparents and their littles are being conducted through living room windows, storm doors, and closed car windows. While permitting face-to-face communication that’s so important for grandkids and grandparents alike, that layer of protection also serves as a barrier against those dangerous airborne droplets. This is one time that Grandma won’t mind lip prints on her clean window!

Safe Snuggle

Touching – particularly hugging – is what grandparents and grandkids are missing the most. One enterprising family went the extra mile to construct a “hug curtain. This long, clear plastic curtain with sleeves allows Grandmom to actually embrace her grandkids. And without fear of passing any germs!

Out-of-Town Updates for Grandparents

When Granny and Gramps can’t “see” the grandkids in person, parents are regularly updating them with photos and videos. After all, a couple of months in a young child’s life can seem like 10 years to both parties involved. Staying in touch through social media, texts, emails, and video conferencing means grandparents don’t miss a single first step, loose tooth, or even purple mohawk!

Terri L. Jones

Terri L. Jones has been writing educational and informative topics for the senior industry for over 10 years, and is a frequent and longtime contributor to Seniors Guide.

Terri Jones