In the past, the relationship between children and grandparents was taken for granted. People would live in large, multi-generational families and, in many cases, live in the same house.
These days, that’s not the case. Children don’t generally live with their grandparents, making it more challenging to foster robust and close relationships.
As parents, however, there is a lot that we can do to bridge the gap. We don’t have to move back in with mom and dad (who would want that?) But we can help our kids connect in many other ways. Check out the following:
Take Them To The Nursing Home
If your parents are in a nursing home, take your children along with you. While visiting a nursing home isn’t always ideal, it is a great way to bring people together, even if the grandparents are unwell. It is a chance for children to connect with family members who might not be around in the future.
Care homes, as any nursing home abuse attorney will tell you, are interesting places. People live independently all their lives and then, suddenly, they have to rely on others again. For children, however, this is a family experience. They are dependent on their parents, just as grandparents are dependent on the nursing home staff.
Thanks to the recent crisis, many more older people are now connecting with their families online. Instead of travelling a couple of hours to see grandma and grandpa, all kids need to do today is fire up the internet and chat to them directly.
You can also explore letter writing with your children. Grandparents love to receive mail, particularly if it is a letter from one of their grandchildren.
Writing letters allows your children to express themselves while also helping them practice their language skills. They also have an opportunity to really think about what they want to say to grandma and grandpa.
Explore New Skills
Grandparents often have a wealth of skills that they can share with their grandchildren. It could be anything, from mountaineering to the ability to complete thousand-piece jigsaw puzzles. Whatever it is, get the grandparents to teach the children. This type of relationship helps both parties. Children learn new skills while grandparents can inject more meaning into their lives.
Visit More Often
Visiting grandparents more often is a great way to help your children forge closer bonds with them. If they just live across town, it’s easy to see them on the weekend every fortnight or so. However, even if they live out of state, you can arrange to stop by for entire weekends or perhaps have a week-long break with them every quarter.
For kids, seeing grandparents will become a special occasion. They will look forward to all of the adventures that they can have, and enjoy the break from their regular routine.
In summary, there are many ways to cultivate a more intimate relationship between children and their grandparents. However, as with any family relationship, it takes effort on both sides.
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