Having kids or grandkids—or both—whom you can’t see in-person can be mentally draining and challenging. It’s sad when you can’t give them a big squeeze or bake cookies together and do all the fun things that parents and grandparents have always done with their kids and grandkids. Like with every challenge, however, there’s always a silver lining. You may temporarily be restricted from seeing them, but technology has made it so much easier than it would have been even just 20 years ago. Thanks to all the video-chatting tools out there today, you can easily see your family at the drop of a hat. You just have to get creative about it and make the most of it. That means baking a batch of cookies in your kitchen with your grandchildren baking them in their kitchen simultaneously, with a tablet live streaming all of you so you can compare notes. Or it could mean telling bedtime stories over your laptop or smart device. Now you just have to consider what to wear, just as you would if you were seeing them in person. Let’s get into some fun ideas for what to wear when video chatting with kids and grandkids.
Humor makes everything better. So does the element of surprise. One super fun idea is to start a tradition where, for example, you have a video chat with your grandkids every Sunday night. Although they think they’re going to see your happy face, they’ll see you in some random costume or outfit. Go along with the different seasons or holidays to make it even more fun. For example, during Halloween, dress up in whatever costume might scare them or give them a good laugh. During the holiday season, be the Grinch or Santa. Use your imagination. It doesn’t even have to make sense. You can just hop online with your flannel shirt buttoned wrong or on backward, and mismatched earrings or goofy hair. All of these will have them wondering what you'll wear to your next video call and build up their anticipation of seeing you.
Wear whatever you normally wear! This might be best for babies and younger kids who might be confused or even scared by your costume or goofy outfit. And if they’re still getting to know you, you want them to know how your face normally is so they can recognize you when they finally see you in person. So if you have a favorite sweatshirt or T-shirt, wear it without feeling self-conscious. Being yourself teaches them that it’s OK for them to be true to themselves too.
Mom and Dad know best, but Grandma and Grandpa know even better. They know that being active during a time when kids are glued to their devices while learning from home and stuck indoors during a pandemic is necessary for good health. Especially if kids are slouched over their computer with poor ergonomics, or if they’re simply sitting around too much and not getting any activity outdoors. That’s where you come in. Schedule one of your video chats to do something fun and active together. It doesn’t have to cause you to break too much of a sweat. It can be something as simple as virtual yoga or playing an online dancing game together. So get on your women’s workout pants or your men’s athletic shorts, and get active on your next video chat!
If your video chat is scheduled for nighttime, get cozy in some matching family pajamas. It will be a fun surprise if you have pj’s shipped to their home with a note that says, “Wear me during our next video chat.” You can even send along some popcorn, snacks, and a movie. Or give them your Netflix password and let them watch the movie with you at the same time, all with the tablet or laptop video chat on so you can see your reactions to the movie simultaneously, just as if you were watching together in person. As silly as it might sound, these are the things kids look forward to, and these are the chances to make memories with them when you can’t see each other in person.
Being away from family is tough. Now’s the time to get creative and think of ways to make memories together without putting anyone’s health in danger. And what you wear can make someone’s day special, whether you’re being yourself or having fun dressed up as someone else.