According to new research by Care for the Family
, almost 75% of grandparents who live an hour or more away from their grandchildren believe distance stops them forming strong bonds with their grandkids.
Half of those grandparents surveyed said they saw their own grandparents on a daily or weekly basis, but only see their grandchildren every few months.
Almost all said they wished their families lived closer to enable them to spend more time together, and get to know their grandchildren better.
A third said they believed the most important role they played in their grandchildren's life was as a 'confidant and source of comfort.'
Katharine Hill, Director of Family Policy for Care for the Family said of the findings: "A generation ago, many children lived close to their grandparents and were a part of their day-to-day lives.
"However, modern day living means that today's families can be spread across the country and even the world. Parents and grandparents may need to think creatively about how they can build good relationships across the miles."
"Six ways to help your children stay in touch with long-distance grandparents: "
1. Ask your parents to record stories that you can play to your children. It could be an event from their life or a story from one of your child's favourite books.
2. Put pictures of your parents around - on a low shelf for younger children - so they can get used to how their grandparents look. It'll make it easier for them when they visit.
3. Ask your parents to make a photo album that includes pictures of their surroundings - home, work, hobbies, and pets. It will help your child to feel they 'know' them.
4. With younger children, send their artwork to your parents and ask them to send back a photograph of it on display in their home.
5. Ask your parents to send notes or postcards to your children now and again.
6. Invest time in helping your parents get up to speed with any new technologies that your family uses to keep in touch.
More on Parentdish:
Why we need to make the most of grandparents
How to make grandparent childcare work for you
- Lionel Richie
Cool man Lionel claimed he was ‘more nervous’ than his daughter Nicole when first grandchild Harlow was born. Nicole and husband Joe Madden have since had a second mini Richie, Sarrow, and Lionel is affectionately known as ‘Popi’ or ‘Papa’. Cute!</p>
- Janet Ellis
Janet earned her TV stripes on Blue Peter, and is now grandmother to popstar Sophie Ellis-Bextor’s children Sonny, Kit and Raymond. She <a href="http://www.parentdish.co.uk/2011/09/30/janet-ellis-on-being-granny-to-sophie-ellis-bextors-kids-and-why-grandparents-celebrated/" target="_blank">told Parentdish</a> that she was a very hands-on granny to Sophie’s three boys, saying: “I certainly do as much as I can, and yes, I really love it. And that's anything from picking one of them up from school, or going to sit with one of them while the other's going off and doing something, so they don't always have to be lumped in together, which I think is lovely for kids.”</p>
- Goldie Hawn
And the award for all-time glamorous granny goes to…Goldie Hawn, who is a grandmother twice over to daughter <a href="http://www.parentdish.co.uk/2011/07/15/new-parents-kate-hudson-and-matt-bellamy-reveal-unusual-baby-nam/" target="_blank">Kate Hudson’s two children Ryder and Bing</a>. She loves the tag grandmother, saying: “We could think 'grandmother' and think it's really old - or actually much younger. I just rip those titles away. I love being a grandmother. When I was pregnant I knew the exact right thing to do, having a baby, and I feel exactly the same about being a grandmother."</p>
- Whoopi Goldberg
Whoopi became a mum in her teens, and became a grandma for the first time when her 16-year-old daughter gave birth, when Whoopi was just 34 herself. While she relishes life as a grandparent, she’s most certainly not up for adding great-grandma to her title, saying: “Great-grandchildren I’m <em>not</em> doing!” </p>
- Bob Geldof
We love Bob for saying what we were thinking when his daughter <a href="http://www.parentdish.co.uk/2012/04/21/peaches-geldof-has-given-birth-to-son/" target="_blank">Peaches named her son, Astala</a>. He told the press: “Yuck! What’s he going to be called in school? Ass? Stella? It’s a girl’s name, let’s face it.” That from a man who named his children Fifi Trixibelle, Peaches Honeyblossom and Little Pixie…</p>
- Steven Tyler
Yes, kids, that’s really your grandad on stage belting out Aerosmith songs. Being a grandfather hasn’t slowed Steven Tyler down: he invited his grandson Milo, and of course Milo’s mum, Steven’s daughter Liv to watch him perform in concert, complete with protective headphone for the little man of course. </p>
- Keith Allen
While his daughter Lily is busy being a top secret mum in the countryside, her dad Keith is keeping everyone up to date with her news. After rumours circulated that Lily was pregnant with a sibling for baby Ethel, <a href="http://www.parentdish.co.uk/2012/07/08/lily-allen-is-pregnant-again-second-baby-due-december/" target="_blank">Keith was the one who confirmed the news</a> during a TV interview, saying: “Yes, she’s pregnant.” Bet he got a right earful for that…</p>
- Jim Carrey
Jim’s daughter Jane made him a first-time granddad when she welcomed son Jackson in 2010. Super-proud Jim couldn’t help but share his excitement when the little lad made his grand arrival, completely stealing Jane’s thunder and tweeting his grandson’s picture himself!</p>
- Harrison Ford
Imagine being able to say ‘Indiana Jones is my grandad’. Well, three children actually can, as Indy, aka Harrison Ford is a proud grandparent to Eliel, Giuliana and Ethan. Although, just to confuse things, they are actually older than Harrison’s adopted son Liam, his son with wife Calista Flockhart. Riiiigght. </p>
- Katherine Jackson
When her son Michael died in 2009, Katherine was awarded custody of her late son’s three children, Paris, Prince and Blanket. Despite numerous rows, headlines and sensational fall-outs, Katherine has been a constant in the three children’s lives, and after yet another family fight which resulted in her temporaily losing custody of her three grandchildren, she was <a href="http://www.parentdish.co.uk/2012/08/03/michael-jackson-mum-katherine-re-awarded-guardianship-of-his-children-prince-paris-blanket/" target="_blank">reinstated as their full-time guardian</a>, which a judge saying she had been doing a 'terrific job as guardian and the children love her'.</p>
- Rod Stewart
With EIGHT children under his belt, who better to play the doting grandfather role than Rod? His daughter <a href="http://www.parentdish.co.uk/2011/08/22/rod-stewart-is-a-granddad-for-the-first-time-as-daughter-kimberley-has-daughter/" target="_blank">Kimberley gave birth to daughter Delilah in 2011</a>, and Rod was first to gush about the family’s new arrival, even blabbing the baby’s name to the press, saying: “It's Delilah. I’ve been going around blabbing that for hours now!”</p>
- Paul McCartney
Paul is an old hat at this grand-parenting lark - with five grandchildren from his two daughters Stella and Mary under his wing. If that wasn’t enough, he also held the 2006 title of ‘Sexiest Celebrity Grandparent’. Now if that isn’t an accolade, we don’t know what is…</p>
- Tom Hanks
Anyone that describes their granddaughter as ‘magnificent’ deserves a firm place in our gallery. Tom summed up his first grandchild, Olivia, with that fabulous word when he appeared on TV shortly after the little girl was born to Tom’s son Colin and his wife, Samantha. </p>
- Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne
The coolest celebrity granny and grandad on the block? Step forward Ozzy and Sharon, who are proud first time grandparents to baby Pearl, who is their son Jack’s daughter. Before Pearl made her arrival, <a href="http://www.parentdish.co.uk/2011/10/13/granny-to-be-sharon-osbourne-says-new-baby-will-call-her-shazza/" target="_blank">Sharon declared</a> there wasn’t going to be any of the ‘granny’ ‘grandma’ or ‘gran’ rubbish in her household, saying: “The baby's going to have to call me Shazza or Missus O!”</p>