Q: How can grandparents and their grandchildren enjoy a loving and steadfast relationship in today's fast-paced world? My wife and I live in a different state than much of our family and don't know how best to connect with our loved ones.
We try hard to make it work but often find it more difficult than we believe it was for our parents.
How can we best remain close as a family?
A: The most important thing is open and ongoing communication. Differences are always on the table, so you need to be positive and willing to compromise and bridge the gap.
Our society has never changed at a faster rate, and it's difficult to understand the world of those younger than us, and how it influences their ideas and habits.
Keeping families together is also hard, what with the competitive job market, high divorce rate, geographical distance and the technology gap. Older people often don't have the ability or desire to communicate by computers, but you need to compromise in order for things to change.
If you set a goal of frequent communication, you just need to find a method that works for all of you. Whenever you have to opportunity to meet in person, plan something that you'll enjoy doing together. Similarly, maintain your bond with your children, as they will want you to be a large part of all of their lives. Good luck! — Doug
THE KEY TO MEMORY
Q: As expected, my memory has definitely started to decline as I've gotten older. My long-term memory is thankfully still intact, but I have a hard time remembering day-to-day things.
My main problem is that I can never find my car keys in my house! I lose them several times a week, and it takes me a long time to find them.
How can I combat this annoyance?
A: Losing car keys is something we've all done — memory intact or not! It's time to establish good habits to counteract this tendency.
Designate a specific place as the only spot where you will leave your keys. Eliminating other locations will make it much less easy to forget where you've left them.
The trick to this is consistency. Make sure to put them in that place immediately after returning home. If you decide you'll start putting your keys in the right place "sometime later," you're increasing the likelihood of forgetting.
If you can't remember to put them in the same place, write yourself a large note, and place it somewhere you'll notice upon entering your home. It will help you while you're first starting your new routine.
Monitor your memory problems carefully, especially considering your driving. Although it's a hard decision to make, you will have to stop driving at some point. It's essential that you don't allow your memory loss to cause injury to yourself or others, as the roads are very dangerous. — Emma, Doug's granddaughter
Doug Mayberry makes the most of life in a Southern California retirement community. Contact him at [email protected] Emma, Doug's granddaughter, helps write this column. To find out more about Doug Mayberry and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.