The parent generation is overwhelmed. They’re working, taking care of their own kids, homeschooling and worried sick about the grandparents. I’ve heard many grandparents bandy about the term “helicopter children.”

One antidote to this is to take action! Action. Our children will be less worried about us when they see we are alive and kicking and still able to help out—without even leaving the house! We, too, will be less worried when we feel active and socially useful. Psychology suggests that when we spend the day watching the news pass by, we feel we, too, are simply passing by, unable to make change or assert ourselves. I feel the time for action has come!

One thing we can do is use both low-tech and high-tech technology to keep our grandchildren entertained and, more importantly, to take a load off the shoulders of their parents. One option is helping them with homeschooling and homework. The parent generation are so overwhelmed they cannot even stop to think about ways you might be helpful!

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I suggest you call your children—the parent generation—and ask them if you could be helpful. If you are good in math or good at computers or good at English, you can probably help the elementary school kids with their homework. The curriculum may have changed since you experienced this (for some levity, enjoy this video on the horrors of “new math”), but the human connection can work wonders. Often, what they really are looking for is someone to sit there while they figure it out themselves. Or you can teach them how to knit or do origami; in other words, use any skill you have.

Of course, your children may not have access to a phone or internet. For those of you who have some old devices lying around, ask the parents if you can send any to the grandkids. It may be that there are no electronics to spare during the workday. In that case, it may be prudent to ask the parents if you might entertain the kids while they make dinner or go for a walk, as parents do not use computers then.

Keep your expectations low. Your grandchildren may not at all be in the mood to talk to you one day—that does not mean they won’t be the next day!

I have written a list of educational resources and activities you can do with your grandchildren. I also trust your creativity to come up with your own! We are all in the same boat here—let’s share ideas far and wide.

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