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May 9th, 2024

The Long Distance Grandparent with Kerry Byrne

  1. The Long Distance Grandparent with Kerry Byrne Jane Leder 36:51


Here's a whopper: there are approximately 67 million grandparents in the U.S. today. Slightly more than twenty-six percent of them in the U.S. are mid-lifers.  That's crazy, right?  Many grandparents are still working, many have older children living in the house, and many may be taking care of their parents. While there is little research, millions of grandparents live 200 miles or more away from their grandchildren. They are the long-distance grandparents.

Kerry Byrne is the founder of The Long Distance Grandparent, an online learning hub that also speaks to grandparents who live closer to their grandkids.  When her husband landed a new job in Dubai, she and their one child (soon to become two) relocated. Kerry’s experience set the stage for her intense interest in long-distance grandparents and how the relationship between grandparents and grandchildren changes. The research underscores the importance of this connection and the positive effect a close relationship has on a bitter level of life satisfaction and fewer ageist ideas about older people.

Being a grandparent, particularly a long-distance one, takes energy and planning. As Kerry says, contrary to the general opinion, she advises people to “sweat the small stuff.” Find out what your grandchild likes and how you can relate. Schedule your time so that every Sunday, for example, you call. And write a letter. Kids look forward to getting snail mail!  

 If you are currently a grandmother, a soon-to-be grandmother, or someone interested in this connection, you’ll want to listen to Kerry’s insights.

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Jane Leder Podcaster & Author

I am an award-winning author of books about teen suicide, siblings, and men and women during WWII. My feature articles have appeared in publications from Psychology Today to the Chicago Sun-Times. I enjoy the journey of writing, the process. But as I celebrated my seventy-seventh birthday, I wanted a change of focus and turned my creative energies into launching "Older Women & Friends," a podcast. The challenge has been exhilarating and will certainly help me make it through the dead of winter in the Midwest.

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