Strengthening Your Relationship with your Grandchildren

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Donna Mae Scheib

Strengthening Your Relationship with your Grandchildren

Posted by Donna Mae Scheib on March 01, 2018

Strengthening Your Relationship with your Grandchildren

Grandparents can play many roles in their grandchildren’s lives. Those that live close can be trusted caretakers and grandparents that live far away offer an exciting getaway for grandkids when they come to visit. Embracing the grandparent role can bring a sense of pride and awareness of the growth of your family. However, developing a relationship with your grandchildren can sometimes be a challenge whether it be strained relationships with your own children or just a lack of connection through the years. Developing a relationship isn’t something that happens overnight, but over time with consistent commitments and showering of love can help foster its growth.

What can a grandparent “be” to their grandchildren?

- Trusted Mentor:  Statistics state that if children have just one adult that cares for them and is consistently present in their life, they will be more likely to succeed.

- Storyteller:  Share your family history with stories from your own youth as well as your children’s (their parents).

- Connector to the Past:  Cultural connections to past family traditions from recipes to custom practices. 

- Role Model:  You can be a role model for your children with how you interact with your family, your involvement with your community, and the amount of effort you give to your passions.

- Sharer of Wisdom:  Sharing life lessons with grandchildren provides them with real-life examples and can provide a coping method to grandchildren who are in a life learning situation.

What are ways to connect with your grandchildren? 

Here are a few ideas to help your relationship grow with your grandchildren by simply connecting and sharing time with them!

- If the distance is an issue, try to plan out a skype, facetime, or phone call once every few weeks to reconnect. Have your grandchildren show you projects that they have done lately or anything exciting that has happened.

- Whenever you travel someplace new, send a postcard and share a story about your adventure!

- Budget a special 13th birthday road trip or a certain age trip for each of your grandchildren. You can make it be within a certain mileage and a certain amount of days to find exciting things to do on the trip like visiting a museum, taking a hike in a national park, or going to a professional ball game in a big city. The trip doesn’t have to be expensive because what they will remember most is the time they get to spend one on one with their grandparents!

- Invite your grandchildren to help you garden in the summertime. They can learn a new skill and understand more about all the hard work needed to have tasty fruits and vegetables!

- Canning jellies, jams, vegetables, and meats is another activity you can share with your grandkids. Something that you may have grown up with that is second nature to you may be something they have never really done and would like to learn.

- Work on a simple woodcraft or sewing project: a birdhouse, bookshelf, blanket, or pillowcase are all great ideas to bond with your grandkids. - For younger grandchildren, think of a skill that would be fun to learn and something that they can surprise mom and dad when they come home such as blowing a bubble, tying their shoes, or learning a new game like hopscotch or your favorite classic card game.

- Have your grandchildren be your teacher! Have them teach you to play their favorite video game, pass a volleyball back and forth, or attempt to participate in an art or music project. Whatever their passion is, get involved and have fun. Show them it is okay to laugh at yourself and make mistakes.

Although I cannot think of many children that would refuse a gift from a grandparent, remember the gift of your presence and connection is the best of all!