7 Grandparenting Tips for Developing a Great Relationship
Learn a few new tips and tricks for developing a deeper bond between you and your grandchild.
The relationship between a grandparent and grandchild is an important one. In fact, a study by the American Sociological Association (ASA) found that grandparents and grandchildren have profound effects on each other's psychological well-being long into the future. You can have deep, loving relationships with your grandchildren by getting involved in their lives and creating long-lasting memories.
Here are some grandparenting tips to help deepen the bond with your grandchildren:
- Communicate Family History
Grandparents have the unique opportunity to pass down family stories to the next generation. Tell your grandchild stories about his or her parents when they were young, or even stories about your own childhood. Share pictures, films, videos and scrapbooks to help bring the stories alive. Your grandkids will also get a kick out of seeing their parents and grandparents as babies and small children.
- Spend Some One-on-One Time
If you have multiple grandchildren, it can be hard to find time to develop a deep bond with each child. Instead of getting together as a group all the time, make it a priority to spend some one-on-one time with each grandchild doing what that child loves best. When you take the time to connect on a personal basis, it helps create a long-lasting bond.
- Take a Trip
One of the best ways to truly connect with your grandchildren is to get out in the world together. Take your grandchild to a concert, play or movie. Schedule a date for the science center, local museum or whatever piques your grandchild's interest. These fun trips provide a wonderful opportunity to grow the bond with your grandkids and make some memories.
- Play Games
Often, kids today don't sit around playing cards or board games like they did in previous generations. Teach your grandkids a fun new game (such as war or crazy eights) that gets everyone's competitive juices flowing. Games can help you connect with a younger person and see how their mind operates.
- Put Technology to Work for You
If you don't live near your grandchildren, you can still develop a close bond with the help of technology, such as Skype or FaceTime. If you aren't tech savvy, ask your grandkids to help you. It will give you another opportunity to connect and engage with your grandkids and gives them a chance to teach you something.
- Find Common Interests
Plenty of things have changed over the generations, but there's a good chance you still share common interests and hobbies with your grandkids. After all, watching sports, cooking, reading or enjoying the outdoors have all stayed the same through the years. Find out what you have in common and share those interests together to strengthen your bond.
- Don't Compete
Even though your grandchildren have other grandparents they spend time with, don't try to compete with them or try to be the "best" grandparent. If you approach grandparenting with a competitive attitude, you'll only alienate your grandkids. Instead, be happy your grandchildren have multiple grandparents and more opportunities for love.
As with any relationship, there will most likely be ups and downs, but if you work toward creating deep bonds with your grandkids, you will reap some amazing rewards. Check out 10 Things Grandchildren Can Learn From Their Grandparents for even more benefits this relationship can provide.
What are some of your favorite grandparenting tips and activities? How do you connect with your grandchildren? Let us know in the comments.
Rebecca Desfosse is a freelance writer specializing in parenting, family and pet care topics.