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What grandparents should do — and not do — online

Grandparents who use social media to stay in touch with their grandchildren may be interested in hearing this advice — garnered from the grandkids themselves. Visiting Angels, an in-home senior care company, commissioned a survey of millennial grandchildren in honor of Grandparents’ Day, which was Sept. 10.

Grandkids emphasize that they love being able to communicate with their grandparents on sites such as Facebook — but some things Grandma and Grandpa do online make them cringe. Here are suggestions from some grandkids on how not to embarrass them:

Don’t try to friend your grandkids’ friends.

Don’t post directly onto their timeline.

Don’t comment on their appearance, whether hair, weight or clothes.

Don’t go holy roller, posting too often about religion. And don’t get too political, either.

Avoid going emoji crazy in comments or posts.

Don’t share TMI (too much information) about your love life. Or too many details on your health, medical issues or procedures.

Don’t post dirty laundry about family feuds or finances.

Don’t publicly post “Why don’t you visit or call more?” Grandkids don’t take well to the guilt trip.

On the flip side, most grandkids surveyed said they like when their grandparents post “I love you.” And most said they also like when their grandparents share photos, and enjoy sharing theirs with their grandparents, as well.

So keep the online conversation going — it’s good for grandparents’ health, says Anne Markowitz Recht, a social worker and chief executive of Jericho-based AMR Care Group, a care management and companion services company for senior citizens. “It’s great for older people to be able to communicate with their grandchildren on their medium,” Recht says. “It’s cool, it’s fun, and it’s important to have these connections throughout life.”


(Email Beth Whitehouse at

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