Reconnecting with your Child at a Distance: 5 Activities to Help You Bond Today

Reconnecting with Your Child at a Distance by Anieke Lamers

Many of us focus our new resolution efforts on the turn of the new year. Vowing to drop certain bad habits and pick up newer, healthier ones. Spring however, provides the perfect opportunity for change – a transient time of life, rebirth and revival. As we move into longer, lighter days, it’s common to have more energy and clarity of mind. It’s the perfect time to start something fresh, pick up a new healthy habit or make changes to an existing one. 

Remote Bonding with Young Children

Children need a solid foundation. Our task as grown-ups is to provide a safe space for children to develop. The world is getting more complex every day and we need to ensure that young children grow up to be resilient – adequately tackling the challenges of the world.

Researchers at Princeton argue that many parents need more support to provide proper parenting. They need social support from family, even from a distance. 

Keeping in touch with the young children in your family can have a very positive impact on their wellbeing. How young children go on to feel about themselves has a lot to do with their interactions and relationships with the adults present in their lives. This circle of people might include grandparents, close friends, or even paid help. By reaching out and creating positive bonds, you are contributing to a personal awareness that may stay with the child for a long time.

Guilt

Maybe it’s been a little while since you got in touch. It’s ok, we’ve all been there! Life is busy, dates pass by and all of a sudden you feel quite distant from your already distant little one. Try not to let this get you down. There is no right or wrong way to feel. Guilt in particular is a tricky business. As well as being entirely useless for everyone involved, it threatens our self-esteem. Hurting our self-esteem does not create a good environment to reach out to others from. Often, if we are not feeling good about ourselves, we don’t value our contribution to somebody else’s life. 

So, let’s drop the guilt and start small. Choosing just one connection to begin with, or if there is just one connection, start with a small point of contact. A small message on a quiet afternoon for example. Approach this task lightly and give yourself plenty of room to feel comfortable. 

Or maybe you’ve run out of inspiration and need some new ideas to connect. Below we’ve listed 5 of our favorite activities to help you connect today.

5 Activities to Help you Connect Today

The Magic Spoon Trick: 

Suitable for kids 3 years and older. 

Magic tricks are great for kids and the magic spoon trick is a classic. Performing this trick with your little one allows you to share something together. It even offers a teaching opportunity which can help build trust and appreciation. 

All you need is a tablespoon and a video connection to your little one. 

Grab a tablespoon and tell your young child that you can do a magic trick. Show the spoon, say a magic word, and hang the spoon on the tip of your nose. Challenge your young child to do the same and see how they get on. 

Showing Gratitude 

Suitable for kids 3 years and older.

Practicing gratitude activates several parts of the brain that are associated with reward and motivation. Sharing a moment of gratitude with your little one can help them feel good and associate that feeling off love and kindness with you. 

All you need is yourself and a video or audio connection to your child at a distance. 

Think of 3-4 things you are grateful for today and express them to your little one. After, you can ask them what they are grateful for. 

Emotions 

Suitable for kids between 2-4 years.

At two years of age, children experience complex emotions but have not mastered how to express them healthily. By pointing out what words they can use to express themselves, young children learn new vocabulary and build their self-confidence. This is a teaching opportunity which can help to bond and build trust with your little one. As children develop a vocabulary and more independence, they will experiment with expressing emotion in new ways.

Prepare your acting skills! All you need is yourself and video connection to your child. 

Teach your little one about emotions. Cover your face with your hands and then uncover your face to show an emotion. Ask your little one what emotion you are showing. Repeat by covering your face and revealing a different emotion. Try showing happiness, sadness, anger, and fear. 

Draw Your Family 

Suitable for kids between 3-6 years.

Children develop creativity and enhance their fine motor skills through drawing. Drawing family members also supports their social, emotional connection and bonding. 

Grab a pen (or crayons) and a piece of paper. Use these in a video connection to your child. 

Make a drawing of your family and show it to your little one in a video. It’s not about creating art, so don’t worry if it’s not perfect. Be sure to point out the family members in the drawing. You can even ask your little one to make a family picture for you as well.

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Animals

Suitable for kids between 2-3 years.

Imitating animal sounds helps young children develop cognitively. At 2 years old, a child might be able to name some animals, and kids this age love playing simple make-believe games.

Connecting with your little one in this playful way helps encourage happiness and long lasting memories. 

All you need is yourself and a video connection to your child at a distance. Pretend to be an animal! Ask your little one to guess what animal you are by making the sound of the animal.You can ask them to do the same, following your demonstration.

About Anieke

Anieke is the Founder and CEO of Peekabond. Anieke is an ex-VC having worked on impact investments and consumer tech deals for the past 8 years of her career. Anieke founded Peekabond from a personal passion because she is an aunt of a 2 year old niece in Australia. She immediately began searching for alternative ways to bond remotely with her little niece. But she couldn’t find a real solution, so she made it her mission to create the best digital platform possible. To build beautiful bonds across generations, continents, and cultures. To connect with Anieke click here 

About Peekabond

Anieke Lamers, our CEO created Peakabond at the onset of Covid-19. A mobile app to help global families bond with young children remotely. Inspiring families to create playful and engaging moments with young children.

Asynchronous video connection and inspirational science-based content suggestions. Allowing families and loved ones to share small moments and build better bonds. Every play experience is designed with care and approved by child development experts. Always age appropriate. Always private and secure, never showing ads. Our intention is to build a movement that connects families across borders and over generations.  To try Peekabond go here.

The Story of Kerry from the Long Distance Grandparent Community by Anieke Lamers

Starting a grandparent club as a parent

I remember the first time I met Kerry it was April 2021 and I immediately knew she was very special and we immediately had a connection. I didn’t prepare well for the call then and somehow expected a grandmother to appear so when I saw her face I was surprised and blurted out: “wow you are so young to be a grandmother!?” 

She smiled and corrected me saying: “I’m not a grandmother but I’m a mother who wants her children to have a strong connection with their grandparents”. This hit home for me immediately being an aunt of a little girl in Australia and I felt immediately connected to her.  

We have a shared vision that children – now more than ever – need a solid foundation and family, no matter the distance 

We’ve kept in touch since and it was such a pleasure catching up with Kerry this time with my cofounder and Chief Scientist/P.h.D. Alyea Sandovar who also relates because she is an aunt of little ones in America. We have a shared vision that children need their family, now more than ever – no matter the distance between.

So how did The Long Distance Grandparent start?

As a mother living abroad with her husband in Dubai and Houston, she knows the pain of being away from family back in Canada and England. Kerry shared that her father is now 81 years old and she really wanted to help her children Finn and Charlie and their grandparents build a bond. 

November is grandparent season in Dubai and UAE

Living in Dubai she noticed how many expat families were missing their family at a distance. The total expat population in United Arab Emirates has in 2022 come to 8.84 million, which constitutes approximately 89% of the population (Source). It is next to Qatar, Kuwait, Jordan and Singapore among the top 5 countries with the highest share of expats in total population. Kerry noticed that November seemed to be the “grandparent season”. That is, the time of year when the weather is beautiful and the beaches are filled with grandparents visiting their grandchildren in Dubai. She saw an opportunity and the “Grandparent Interview Project” was born. 

Letting go of the grandparent you want to be

Kerry interviewed many grandparents and found out many of them were experiencing a lot of grief of having to let go of the “type of grandparent they thought they were going to be”. This is often paired with a lot of emotional complexity. Grandparents worry they will not be able to nurture a meaningful relationship with their grandchildren because of the distance. Being a trained scientist and caring at heart Kerry saw a role to help grandparents because she knew how possible it was to have strong relationships, no matter the distance between.  And this is how the LDG community started in 2019, which now has about 2000 members from all over the world. 

LDG & Peekabond collaboration

The LDG community receives weekly inspiration about how to connect with grandchildren at a distance through fun, practical and meaningful suggestions. For instance, she encourages grandparents to be intentional about the mail they send and to prepare for the time they spend on video chats together.  Snail mail is an especially powerful way for grandparents to connect because children love it when something arrives especially for them – and it’s unlikely that anyone else in their lives is taking the time to send mail.  Kerry also hosts webinars throughout the year for long-distance grandparents. Stay tuned because we might co-host a webinar between Peekabond and LDG at some point. Kerry started The Long Distance Grandparent Society, an online monthly membership program, as a way to help grandparents move towards more fun and meaningful connections with their grandchildren. It’s an amazing community of engaged and intentional grandparents who know that nurturing bonds really does involve going the extra mile. The paid subscription costs $20 per month or $200 for a year. In the membership and through her free weekly newsletters specifically for long-distance grandparents, she focuses on practical, but fun and meaningful ways to build bonds with your grandchildren.

Background

Kerry Byrne holds a PhD, and although she originally started out wanting to be a child psychologist, she became a research scientist in the area of aging and care. For over 20 years, she has published, presented and collaborated on numerous projects and initiatives to improve the experience of aging. She believes in the power of intergenerational relationships within families to create a more caring and less ageist society. Kerry is the Founder of The Long Distance Grandparent, a mission-driven business helping grandparents build strong bonds with their grandchildren from a distance. 

Grand plans for the future

Kerry has grand plans (pun intended) to grow her membership and help more grandparents through a series of workshops, speaking engagements and e-books.  In the US, Since 2001, the number of grandparents has grown by 24%, from 56 million to 70 million in 2019. By age 65, 96% of Americans are grandparents. Over half of American grandparents report living at a distance from at least one grandchild (Source: AARP) Four in ten grandparents work, contributing to their strength as a significant market force (Source: AARP).

Discussing the Loss of a Relation Within the Family By Anieke Lamers

How to be supportive when your family at a distance is grieving

The Ukraine/Russia conflict inspired this post. My heart is heavy as so many are experiencing loss. Unfortunately, most of us will have moments in life when we are very challenged by a painful situation. Experiencing loss, grief, and sadness is a part of what makes us human. 

Loss and grief can come in many forms;  The death of a loved one, a miscarriage, bad news about a loved one’s health, a painful breakup, or job loss. 

But sadness and grief can also be experienced in “smaller” ways such as not understanding new technology products (my grandmother has been known to feel this way), feeling excluded by a new culture, missing cultural products or foods, being rejected by someone, not getting something you really wanted, or really just worrying about changes in a new environment. 

A few anonymous examples of suffering and grief from my own circle include: 

  1. A miscarriage: Having a miscarriage is more common than most people know. For women who know they’re pregnant, about 10-15% end in miscarriage (See source here). Yet it’s still taboo in many cultures or too painful to talk about. Sadly there isn’t a manual that teaches us how to deal with this kind of trauma. Especially not from the perspective of loved ones at a distance. 
  2. A child trauma: A friend of mine recently experienced her niece (at a distance) suffer a dog attack, for which she was hospitalized. She said she cried for two full days and was unable to fly and visit due to Covid. Experiencing your loved one at a distance suffering from an accident or even hospitalization can be very traumatizing.
  3. A sick older parent: Being separated from family due to political unrest can cause feelings of loss and grief. Especially for those who are unable to return to their home country. 

These things happen to our loved ones – especially to loved ones at a distance –  seeing them suffer can make us feel powerless. 

Personally, I miss my family in Australia when they are struggling with something in their life. Of course, I also hate missing birthdays and the fun stuff, but I feel even sadder about not being able to be there for them physically in times of sorrow. 

Sometimes all you want to do is give them a big hug and be there for them. Being present in their situation without necessarily saying or doing anything.

So what can you do and how can you be supportive when your family at a distance is struggling with grief?

Here are some steps that I have researched and have helped me with my grief:

1. Express your emotions

Sometimes, just being able to express how you or the other person feels can relieve the pain of not being there physically. For example, when I’m going through a rough patch and I speak to my sister in Australia, I can say out loud that I miss her and it sucks that we’re so far apart. I feel some of the pain releasing as I express this. 

Some of us are better at recognizing our emotions than others, but sometimes we just need a bit of help labeling our emotions. This is especially true for younger children. I believe it is our duty as grown-ups to help children in our family to navigate their difficult emotions. 

2. Ask about the other person’s need

When someone we love is in pain, sometimes we intuitively want to “solve” their problems by coming up with a solution. However, it can be better to ask an open question, such as: “What do you need? How can I help?”. Sometimes the answer might be: “I don’t know” or “Just listen and be here for me, that’s enough”. Another great question to ask is “Do you want to a) talk about it, or b) do you want to be distracted so you don’t have to think about it”? When the answer is a) your sole task is to listen. The best way you can be supportive is to listen and be there, letting them take the lead in the conversation.

When the answer is b) it can sometimes be a bit harder to come up with something distracting right on the spot, but this reminds me of the healing power of a simple joke (when timed right). When you make a joke to distract the other person, make sure it’s not at their expense, but a little bit of self-mockery can be healing.  Sometimes I find that when I ask to be distracted, I end up talking about the problem anyway.

3. Be thoughtful (and remember the after-care) 

Everyone deals with grief in their own way and in their own timeframe: Some people like to deal with it by themselves while others prefer a shoulder to cry on. Some appear to get “over it” in a heartbeat whereas for others the pain seems to linger forever. Whatever the situation, don’t judge and respect the needs of the person in grief. Let them know you are there in your own way. A simple heart emoticon ❤️ or a “I’m thinking of you, let me know if you need anything” note can be enough. Don’t expect them to respond (because they might have enough on their mind as it is): it’s not about you, it’s about being there for them. 

4. Send Good thoughts

There is a lot of research showing the power of meditation, prayer.ending good vibes to those in need can have positive effects at a distance. (For example: NYTimes)

Concluding thoughts

In conclusion, most of us will have moments in life when we are very challenged by a painful situation.Just because we aren’t there physically doesn’t mean we can’t be there for each other emotionally to help each other through the rough patches. Expressing your emotions, asking about each others’ needs, being thoughtful and sending good thoughts are all ways to be supportive. 

If you’d like a creative and playful way of supporting young children (and indirectly their parents) at a distance, try out our Peekabond app. We start by giving simple playful, creative suggestions to share videos with each other. This helps to deepen the connection with your loved one and create a space to start sharing the more difficult things. 

You can give Peekabond a try, it’s completely free and you download the app here

senior couple happy tablet computer love together

Showing Love – 5 Activities to do when Babysitting at a distance

Growing your Love and Affection With Family at a distance

Last month my sister, who lives in Australia, was in a difficult situation: her husband had covid, so had to self isolate in their house whilst she had to stay in the other side of the house with their two year old daughter. My sister just started a new job, had to cook, take care of her daughter ánd try not to catch covid. You can imagine this was quite a stressful situation. Normally grandparents, friends or family would be able to come to the rescue, however given her husband had covid they also had to self-isolate plus my sister’s in-laws live about 4 hours away of their home, and our family is mostly in the Netherlands. Raising children with family at a distance (especially for expats) is even more challenging during times of a pandemic. I guess there are many parents out there who can relate to this, and that’s why I thought it would be relevant to write this blog. 

Helping my sister

I asked my sister: “Is there’s anything I can do to help you”? We thought for a bit and quickly came up with the idea of me babysitting her daughter remotely through video calling through her tablet and my laptop. My sister was in the other room trying to get some work done. And we had a backup plan: if my little niece would hang up on me (because the big red button is so attractive to push!), or if I could see her doing something dangerous or naughty, I would have my sister on speed dial in the other room. I was pretty nervous before babysitting through video call; I thought “what if something would go wrong on my clock whilst remote babysitting”? She is only 2.5 years old after all. How long could I possibly engage her for so long given her young age and limited attention span? But, I prepared well, and guess what?! I was able to have an amazing fun time with her for about ninety minutes. Sure, she wasn’t engaged fully all the time, but, we made it work. It was actually the first time I had a one-on-one time with her for that long and even though it wasn’t a deep connection, it felt so natural and was so happy I could help my sister with this small act of service.  I always love showing my love and affection by doing something for the person I love, and not being able to babysit and take care of my niece in person can sometimes be painful. I’ve spoken to many grandparents who feel exactly the same: they want to contribute and babysit their grandchild but they feel separated by distance. Babysitting at a distance would not even come to their mind, which is why I thought this might be a nice inspiration for them as well. 
Preparing to Babysit for Parents Remotely
Let me tell you how I prepared for this and maybe it can help you or inspire you as well. There are a couple of Practical tips, Do’s and Don’ts that I listed down here: 

The Babysitter (aka you!)

  1. Charge your devices: This might sound like a no brainer but make sure your devices are fully charged. I recommend to charge your laptop or tablet (with which you’re going to videocall)  in combination with a phone (which should be next to you in case of emergency call to the parent in the other room).  
  2. Make sure to have some props next to your video calling device so you don’t have to go and look for them during the call. I’ll explain more about what props to bring in the Activities section below.
  3. Schedule the babysitting session at a time the child is typically in a good mood. I video called in my late evening (11 PM) so it was early morning in Australia, which is a time that my niece is usually in a great mood. It was not the best time for me personally as it was very late, however it was more important for me that she would be comfortable than the other way around.

The Parent (aka the person that needs help):    

  1. Child-prep the play room: Ask the parent if the room that the child is in whilst video calling is child-proof. That means no sharp objects, electrical outlets covered up, no stairs they can fall from and child-safe furniture. My sister put the tablet (on which my niece was calling) on a table with a comfy pouf in front of the camera.  
  2. Stay close (in the room nextdoor) to the play room.  
  3. Unmute their phone’s sound in case of an emergency call
  4. Give the child a snack that they can munch on whilst video calling. Beware it’s not something like a lolly that they can potentially choke on. My sister gave for example gave my niece a sandwich.  
Activities for Babysitting Remotely
  1. Pictionary & how many do you see?! Pictionary is a very suitable game to play with children whilst videocalling. I had a whiteboard and was drawing all sorts of images on the whiteboard: flowers, a sun, a bee, hearts, shapes, a dog. I asked her if she could guess what I was drawing. My niece is just learning how to count, so with every picture I drew I asked her if she could count for example the number of flowers or flower leafs. This also just works with normal paper and a pen, although a marker is better visible when showing it in the camera. 

This screenshot of me babysitting shows my niece sitting comfortably on a big cushion, whilst eating a sandwich she was pointing and loving the things I was drawing.

2. Sing songs or watch movies together

Another great activity for remote babysitting is singing, dancing or watching a movie together. I prepared a playlist on Spotify specially for my little niece with songs that I know she would love (including famous childrens’ songs like Twinkle twinkle little star, some Disney songs like Jungle Book, and Let it Go from the Frozen movie). I played the songs and we both sang and danced along behind the camera.

Pro tip: with some video calling solutions it’s possible to share the sound on your computer, which works best, but you don’t really need a playlist if you know a couple of songs by heart.

Note: In the print screen above you can see in the blue pop-up that it’s possible to even watch videos and movies together. I didn’t do this because I really liked being more engaged but would love to watch some of my favorite children’s movies with her in the future. 

Ps. I forgot to take a screenshot because I was too busy dancing and singing 🎶 

3. Reading a story with special effects. 

Another great activity for remote babysitting is reading a story. This works best if you both have the same version of the book, but I didn’t have the specific book my niece wanted to read and it still works fine if you don’t have the same book. 

My niece had an animal picture book that she loves with all sorts of animals. I always ask her to guess the animal and she knows what sounds the animals make and I asked her with each animal to make the sound together creating some special effects together. 

In this screenshot you can see me pretending to be a lion, one of the animals she pointed out in her book.

4. Tell a story with some stuffed animals

Another activity that works well for remote babysitting is telling a story with stuffed animals. I for example had two cuddly bears in my house that I could use as props and I pretended to drink a cup of tea with them. Using funny voices and sounds and letting the animals have all sorts of emotions works really well with engaging with young children whilst baby sitting. You can pretend to give some tea to the camera to your child at a distance but remember to keep it simple. I asked my niece a couple of questions to let her play along with the stuffed animals but she was so mesmorized with the bears that she didn’t really answer. 

 

This screenshot shows I’m having a good time, however my eyes are getting smaller as it was almost midnight in the Netherlands.

5. Show your love by explicitly saying you’re giving a cuddle 

The best part of my video calls with my little niece is always the end when she gives the phone a hug and a kiss goodbye. For children it is really important to make explicit that you would rather give them a hug in real life, however that you’ll use a cuddly bear as a “stand-in” who can magically transfer the hugs. 

 

This blurry picture is personally my favorite part as I know she’s pretending to give me a hug and kiss goodbye after babysitting at a distance through video calling.  

Do you want more inspiration? At Peekabond we have tons of creative play suggestions for playing with young children at a distance. We created a mobile app that uses video messaging to share playful videos to each other at any time. You can also use many of those play suggestions when you’re online at the same time to babysit remote.  Interested? Download it here.

Feel Together with your family, even from a distance #2

Article posted in Delft MaMa blog 

The holiday season is a time we all look forward to being together. It is a time to reconnect, spend some time enjoying each other’s company, and perhaps forget about the realities of the world. For many families in the Delft MaMa community, however, this will be the second season spent apart due to the constraints of the pandemic. The importance of being together, across space and time, is what inspired the creation of Peekabond – a video messenger to connect families using science-based play activities. Designed for families with young children, to feel connected to loved ones.

I am Anieke Lamers, the founder of Peekabond. I was inspired to create Peekabond after I became a long-distance auntie myself. Previously, I discovered first-hand how hard it was to build a bond with my niece remotely. After talking to hundreds of parents and family members, I found out many had the same struggle. That is when I decided to build Peekabond, for me and all those other families.

So, if your family keeps asking, “What should we give your little one(s) as a present this year?” Then, look no further because I have some great tips for you!

Read the full article here:
Feel together with your family, even from a distance

The challenges of remote bonding with young children

Let’s face it: Remote bonding with young children is hard. A little over two years ago, I became an aunt of a little niece in Australia (far away from where I live in The Netherlands), and, since then, I have been searching desperately for solutions to help with remote bonding with young children. I couldn’t find a proper solution, so, I made it my personal mission to create the best digital solution possible so beautiful bonds can be built across generations, continents, and cultures.

This blog summarizes findings from interviews with hundreds of families across the world. I’ve spoken to grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, children, and other loved ones, and here are some quotes, because I believe that pain shared is pain lessened.

Pain shared is pain lessened

So for anyone who reads this blog: from long-distance grandparents to divorced parents, uncles, or aunts who live/work internationally as expats and have to spend time away from a child they love very dearly, I want you to understand that: You are not alone.  Many share your pain of missing young children in their families. 

Some of the pains experienced by family members trying to connect with young children at a distance include:

“I feel it’s very difficult to establish an actual real contact”

It’s already hard to keep in touch with grown-ups – let alone with young children, who have a limited attention span and to whom you might be a “vague concept” from a distance. Young kids cannot hold their attention for a longer period of time and family video calls often end up being a conversation between adults with everyone involved being frustrated. One mother mentioned: “The conversation is literally happening above my daughter’s head”. Young children might become frustrated because they want attention.

I don’t know how to engage my child behind a screen”

It’s also difficult to engage with children if you don’t see them often because you just don’t know what they like. The truth is: As grown-ups, we often forget how to be playful and especially don’t know how to be playful when you’re not together. WhatsApp/Zoom calls often end up being a conversation because us grown-ups are only used to having serious conference calls that way.

‘I just can’t find the time’

Some (grand)parents I’ve spoken to indicated that planning is also very hard with young children. Depending on the culture – for example, Hofstede’s theory states that Western cultures are more individualized – the grandparents don’t want to impose on the lives of the parent/primary caretakers. Some families have to bridge a huge time zone difference which makes it challenging to “catch” each other in a moment that neither of the parties feels tired because it’s either too early in the morning or too late in the evening. There are so many responsibilities a parent or caretaker needs to take care of first, and connecting to family members at a distance might feel like a chore rather than fun family time.

I just want to hold their little hand and hug them”

Believe me, I know how heartbreaking it is to be away from the ones you love; you just want to hug them and give them a kiss. For some people, not being able to physically touch the ones you love can be even more painful, if this is one of your “languages of love”. The Dutch have a word called “huidhonger”, which literally translates to “skin hunger,”: the feeling people develop when they are touch deprived and feel disconnected from one another.

“Family video calls feel like forced conversations”

Quality time (another one of the love languages) is also hard to get when you’re at a distance. You just want to be with them and hang out, maybe not do anything. One interviewee answered: “Bonding, to me, means to just enjoy the silence together”.

“I wish there was something I could do for them to show them how much I care”

 The so-called “Acts of Service” are doing something for your loved one that you know they would like, such as cooking them a meal, taking the kids to school, or cleaning the house. Doing an act of service for someone can feel difficult at a distance. For example, grandparents at a distance would love to babysit (to help the parents), but that can be practically challenging (or impossible) if you cannot be physically there. Grandparents feel like they have so much to offer, but the distance is getting in the way. They want to do more but you just don’t know-how.

“I feel like I’m missing out, they are growing so fast”

One day they are just a tiny baby making gugu-gaga sounds, and the next they are walking around using full sentences and you’re like: “how did that happen?” and “how did I miss that?”. You want to be a part of their special moments such as their first smile and their first steps, but you also want to have “normal” moments together like simply brushing your teeth together. Plus, you see their faces changing so fast.

“I know I won’t be around forever (grandparent) and I want to leave a legacy”

When it comes to aging, many people want to experience the satisfaction of “giving back”, contributing to, and being of service to others. Some of the grandparents (and parents) I’ve spoken to want to leave memories and a legacy for their children to enjoy after they have passed away but forget to do that before it’s too late.

“I want to invest time to bond, but I also love my life and hobbies and sometimes life just gets in the way”

Many (grand)parents have busy social lives and it’s easy to forget to invest the time to spend on (grand)children if it’s not a habit. Out of sight, out of mind. People find it difficult to build a family ritual if you’re not together.

“I see a lot of pictures, and on the one hand they make me happy but on the other hand they make me sad because I’m not a part of it and I feel like I’m just watching their life through the sidelines”

Sure there’s Messenger, WhatsApp, iMessage, WeChat, or other photo-sharing solutions, but there’s no two-way street and interaction with the child(ren). You feel like you’re watching their life from a sideline rather than being a part of it. You receive a lot of nice pictures from their lives, but you don’t feel like you’re a part of that. Plus, when you share pictures it’s usually to the family app, where only the adults see your updates.

“I’m not good at technology”

Some people might be a bit “scared” of technology. Either because they are too old for it and don’t feel “tech-savvy enough” or because they don’t think it’s right for children. Sometimes, they feel the combination of warm bonds and technology just doesn’t rhyme. Some parents are opposed to any screen time at all for children.

A little bit scared

Finally, it might be that you’re also a little scared to fully open your heart to a little loved one at a distance because it can be scary to love someone. It might be easier not to do that because of the fear of missing out (#FOMO). I devoted a blog/vlog on this here: https://peekabond.com/2021/10/13/being-a-long-distance-auntie/

Try Peekabond

Do you recognize these pains and would you like to find a way to bond remotely with young children? We have a solution to soften the pain of being away from a child at a distance: 

Peekabond is a simple way to share playful moments and have fun together. We give: 

  • Inspiration of fun, playful activities (ranging from games, stories, songs etc)
  • Responsible content that is based on child-development science 
  • A way to communicate directly with young children
  • To share moments in a two-way street (not just pictures from babies to family but actual shared experiences)
  • A safe place to store everything 

We have a growing library of over 50 activities that you can use to build a bond with your loved ones. It’s available for iOS and Android. 

Download our app today for instant access to fun and playful activities to do when you’re at a distance.

Try Peekabond

Being a long-distance auntie

My little loved one is in Australia and I haven’t seen her in real life since January 2020. She is now 2 years old, and she was still a baby last time I saw her. Most days are totally fine, but some days are really hard.