During the age of the Corona Virus, many grandparents, are connecting with their grandkids ‘at a distance’- even if they live in the same city. It is also true that during normal times, many grandparents live far away. That means grandparents may not see grandkids in person very often. Much of the relationship happens on FaceTime calls. Despite the distance a grandparent can still have a very rich and meaningful online relationship if they use a little ingenuity and creativity. For this post, I encourage grandparents to interact with their preschool age grandkids using pretend play. Pretend play is the natural way that children this age spend much of their time. It is a world of make-believe that exists half-way between fantasy and reality. Doing it with a grandparent is extra special- even if it is ‘at a distance’ on a FaceTime call. Kids love it. It’s fun for you. And it gives their parents a bit of a break. I recently made a video about pretend play for grandparents of children ages 3-5. The video shows how pretend play can be particularly useful during a crisis, like we are in now with Covid-19, because it helps kids work out their fears and anxieties. I also give some creative suggestions for how to do ‘online’ pretend play with your your grandchild. The people at Parentlab.com helped me create the video. Here is the link. Grandparents: How Online Play With Your Grandkids Can Help Their Fears. Note: Screen time at a young age should be very limited. An exception is made for screen time connection with family.
As a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, I have been in private practice for over 35 years, with a special interest in parents and couples.
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