Leaving the Grandparents Behind

As the world becomes smaller more and more people and families are choosing to relocate. Whether that relocation to a new city, state or even moving overseas; it raises issues for families: particularly grandparents and their grand kids.

There are two usual situations: either the parents relocate their children away from grandparents, or alternatively the grandparents may decide to move to a retirement location: usually somewhere warmer than home.

So how to manage the separation for both parties? One thing I think is to remember that in the end individuals have to make the decisions are best for them. For older adults it may be better to pursue a better quality of life that they an get in a location with a better climate and lower cost of living even if that means moving overseas to retire.

Also for many families it is important to move to pursue job opportunities overseas or interstate or other lifestyle options which means that the family can have a more secure financial future.

Grandparents may feel betrayed by their own children if a global relocation will separate them from grandchildren they have a close relationship with – but this really is a selfish view point. And also a short-sighted one. Its perfectly possible to keep a loving and close relationship with your grandchildren unless you cause a rift with their parents of course.

The modern world has made it a lot easier to stay in contact if distance separates you from loved ones. You don’t even have to pay long-distance call charges, instead video calls on Skye and social networking like sites Facebook and MySpace make staying in contact for all ages easy and cheap.

Also airfares have become a lot cheaper: if grandparents are retired they have the option to travel at off-peak time for even better airfares. So the family moving overseas can be an opportunity for overseas travel that you would never have previously had.

Whatever the reason for the family’s physical dislocation, the important thing is to keep the lines of communication open. Make sure both sides keep on talking to each other. The children should never become pawns between the adults, and neither should they be bargaining chips. Use modern technology to keep the family together even if they are separated by many hundreds of miles.

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