It’s a way to stay connected.” Their grandson will bring a favorite toy to show them, and his sister says “Nana” and “Papa.” Video chats are becoming part of everyday life, also providing a way for grandparents to visit regularly with grandchildren who live remotely.
They read bedtime stories or watch a baby’s first steps.
“I can remember with all of the grandchildren that moment when they recognized who we were on the other end, and the happy face they had,” she said.
Spivey, 61, uses Face Time a couple times a week with four grandchildren, from age 3 to 7, who live in Portland and Everett.
When the connections occur, even on a screen, she describes them as moments of mutual delight.
We blow kisses at each other and make funny faces.” Medical Lake resident Shannon Waechter, 57, uses Face Time every evening for a short visit with one of her granddaughters, 16-month-old Scarlett, who lives in Tacoma.
“When I visit them in Tacoma, Scarlett knows me,” Waechter says. We should all go for quantity because you never know when those important moments will happen.” And now, moments happen almost magically, she said.
“Have a certain game you play with them,” Rauen said.
“It might just be making faces or a ritual that becomes familiar. They have a short attention span.” Mental health counselor Melissa Spivey in Spokane has both professional outlook and personal experience with video chats as a way for grandparents to connect beyond physical visits.
“Izzy is just at a perfect age for interacting, talking, waving, blowing kisses,” said Izzy’s father, Luke Tolley, who uses the Google app called Duo to work across both Android and Apple platforms.
“She even does a little bit of the gibberish where it sounds like conversation.” His mother-in-law, Spokane Valley resident Joy Wesselman, had a medical condition for about six months that prevented her from driving, so regular screen time with Izzy gave her much-needed grandma fixes, Tolley said.
“The first time she sees me on the phone, she tries to kiss my face.” Izzy’s grandfathers participate too. “We try to get together in person as much as possible, but sometimes when we’re all busy, we can go actually weeks.
And Izzy’s other grandma, Wanda Tolley, 60, also enjoys short video chats during the week, although she lives closer to them in Spokane. With video chats, she can connect the voice with the face. Even a five-minute video helps.” Skype, which Microsoft acquired in May 2011, marked 10 years in January and reached a milestone of 2 trillion minutes of free Skype video calls during that decade.
It joins Apple’s Face Time and Google Chat among options for distant face-to-face conversations.