The bonds between grandparents and grandchildren have real, significant effects on each other’s psychological well-being long into grandchildren’s adulthood. Now, more than ever fostering these types of family relationships is vital to a child’s development. In addition, it gives your child the opportunity to learn valuable lessons and stories from older generations that can continue to be passed down before they are forgotten.
In honor of Grandparent’s Day on September 12th, here are five ways to foster that relationship between your child and their grandparents:
1.) Suggest grandparents share family stories with your children. Children of all ages are enamored by family history and “When I was your age…” stories from their grandparents. These stories educate and entertain while being remembered and passed on to younger generations. If your child is old enough, they may want to write down these stories or create a family tree.
2.) Thank you notes. Encourage children to make thank you notes, or drawings when they receive gifts. Everyone, especially grandparents, benefit from expressions of gratitude and appreciation.
3.) Encourage your children to send their grandparents notes, cards, stories and drawings. This is a welcomed surprise for grandparents and can be a fun way to spark creativity in your child. Putting in the effort to create a card, or drawing reflects thoughtfulness.
4.) Children and grandparents can also connect through technology. Now, more than ever, families are connecting via ZOOM, Skype or FaceTime. This a great way to keep in touch if their grandparents are not venturing out, or do not live close by.
5.) Encourage them to engage in hobbies together. Cooking together, going for a walk, creating arts and crafts and watching a ball game are just some of the activities that can strengthen the bond between your child and their grandparents. Having a grandparent teach a child a skill or a craft benefit both the grandparents and the child. For instance, teaching a child to knit, make pot holders, crochet, draw, fish, play old fashioned games like cards, hop scotch, croquet and jumping rope allow grandparents and children to interact in a truly meaningful way. These memories that will last a life time!