How to build lasting bonds between grandparents and grandkids?
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio
One of the purest bonds ever witnessed is the one forged between grandchildren and grandparents. The bond is mutually beneficial to both parties, and the fact that grandparents are often non-judgemental makes it comforting for grandkids to be themselves around them. The age gap also makes it easier for them to bond since both parties also have many things to learn from each other. Whether your grandparents at home or in a senior living community, you can enhance the bond further by doing these things:
Grandkids often feel that grandparents are genuinely interested in knowing more about their lives without being judged. In the modern world, where many cultural and moral principles no longer seem viable, grandparents still have the chance to instill good values in them.
Most of these revolve around using simple gestures, honesty, respect, compassion, hard work, empathy towards others, etc. Most grandparents are gifted with excellent story-telling skills; thus, using this can be a great way to pass the message along with humor.
Both generations have much to teach one another. For example, modern-day grandchildren are more equipped with using technology in their daily lives. Therefore, they can do this together by using technology to play games or helping them maneuver through the social media world.
On the other hand, grandparents are handier skillset wise. Some of the skills they can teach grandkids include; cooking, gardening, painting, fishing, woodworking, crocheting, baking, etc. Depending on the ages of your grandkids, you can choose skills that you feel best suit their age gap. Doing these things improves their confidence even further.
The older generation is primarily keen on culture and history, while the younger generation is keen to explore as much as possible. Traveling is one such activity that can set the right atmosphere to bring these two generations together. Parents can facilitate these trips and help select destinations where these two parties can bridge the gap.
Places such as animal parks, beaches, historical monuments, concerts, hotels, etc., are great zones to explore. The essential thing is to ensure that seniors can easily access these places. Also, the grandkids must be able to have some snacks along the way even as they explore. As you bond, do not forget to take family pictures.
Family traditions vary, and each has its way of doing it. Besides the famous universal traditions like Thanksgiving, some families have carried on their unique traditions for generations. These can include simple things like a standard family recipe, home remedies for common ailments, holding a barbeque every six months as a family, etc. Who is better to pass on these skills than the grandparents? You can also brainstorm on new family traditions together.
Besides teaching your grandkids the importance of empathy for their surroundings, showing them how it is done would be great. If you do not have enough funds to sponsor a charity event, you can join a charitable organization and volunteer to make philanthropic donations together. In the process, you can look for opportunities where your grandchild can use their skill set positively. For example, if they are good singers, they can use such skills to uplift other young kids during a charity event. Such events offer a valuable and visual lesson to the younger generation, which they can never forget. Do not also forget to take photographs to preserve the memories.
If these two generations still have the chance to bond, do not let the chance slip away. Seize the opportunities and let them make lasting memories that last for years to come.
Jenn Walker is a freelance writer, blogger, dog-enthusiast, and avid beachgoer operating out of Southern New Jersey.