Many kid’s grandparents live far away or around the corner. Some children see their grandparents on a regular basis where others only see them during visits for the summer or holidays. Regardless there are a number of ways for them to stay connected and involved in each other lives.
As the years have passed, grandparents are more and more called upon to help care for their grandchildren, either as a primary or part-time caregiver. This can be a good thing or at times a challenge. One thing is for sure, the relationship between grandchild and grandparents can have a great impact on a child’s life. As well as the bond can have important implications for the elder relations.
For children, the attention grandparents are so willing to give can make a huge difference in their lives. The loves between the two can build confidence and make them feel special; provide them with a role model and most importantly, someone who’s always available to listen. A strong bond between grandparents and grandchild can make the grandparent feel needed and appreciated; often valuing the attention they receive.
In cases where grandchildren and grandparents do no live close enough for convenient visits, there are things that can be done to maintain their relationship. Contact can be done in a number of ways. Even if grandparents are not up to date on texting or Facebook, those that have e-mail accounts can share photos, playing games and sending e-mails, all are ways to connect with children in their comfort zones. Of course more traditional methods of communication can be used. Grandparents always enjoy receiving a letter in the mail or telephone call. Once the distance is overcome, many grandparents and grandchildren will continue to enjoy their ongoing relationship.
Visits from grandparents can be a time for sightseeing and trips to entertainment parks, simple activities can strengthen the bond. Maybe children could use help on their homework or advice on a school project. Grandparents would probably love a school tour or a chance to see a little league practice or game.
Bonding with teenagers can sometimes be more of a challenge. With patience, there are ways to find common grounds. Older kids might enjoy spending time with their grandparents at the mall showing them the clothing they are into or what type of music they like. Or maybe they just need someone to listen, hear about what’s troubling them or act as a sounding board.
One of the most growing trends is grandparents and grandchildren hitting the road together. Parents get to relax, knowing their children are well taken care of. Trips can provide really special bonding times whether it is a trip planned by the grandchild or the use of companies offering travel packages for grandparents and grandchild. The memories they develop can be fuel for many later sessions of reminiscences and laughs; photos only enhance the enjoyment.
The biggest issue between grandchildren and grandparents is to find a balance. There’s a lot that can get off kilter in a family dynamics. Whether grandparents are regular fixtures or only occasional visitors, a whole host of issues can come up. A grandparent might have a “favorite” ignoring their other grandchildren. They might criticize parents in front of their kids. Perhaps grandparents start to feel taken advantage of when being called upon frequently to care for their grandchildren.
Parents or children might feel obligated to arrange time for get-togethers and activities.
The key to these issues is communication-between parents, children and grandparents alike is the best way to clear the air or get all parties on the same page. Respecting the personal needs and wants of various family members is fundamental, valuable and the most loving thing you can do.