A meaningful connection between grandchildren and grandparents is an invaluable attribute of an unbreakable family unit, guaranteed to stand the test of time. Grandparents provide your little ones with a sense of identity and history, passing on time-worn traditions and stories of the past. Because your children look to their elders for mentorship during challenging moments when your guidance falls short, coordinating a play date with Grandma can work wonders. After all, trusting relationships formed outside the home also allow kids to develop higher self-esteem and confidence among peers, making recess anxiety a thing of the past.
How to Overcome Geographical Challenges
Establishing a bond between generations isn’t a small feat. Indeed several factors may come between a grandparent and your kiddos. Physical distance may pose an obstacle to any healthy relationship, and grandchildren that rarely interact with their grandparent are less likely to form a close connection. Other hindrances include a difference in values, lack of emotional bonding, and poor relations with grandchildren’s parents. Despite these challenges, nurturing a lasting relationship between grandparents and children is an achievable goal for any helicopter parent.
Fellow moms, don’t lose sleep over geographical differences, as you can seal these thousand-mile gaps with video conferencing apps like Skype and Facetime. For those young children leading busy on-the-go lifestyles, meaningful interactions between grandparents and grandchildren can be as simple as sharing an interest, or sending a quick text.
Cultivating a bond between children and their grandparents is invaluable to your family. Consider these seven ways you can nurture a lasting connection.
1. Use technology to your advantage
Modern devices can unite grandparents and grandchildren with the click of a button. Regular interaction between family members forges a stronger connection. Even a weekly email lets a grandchild know their grandparent is thinking about them. Cell phones have revolutionized communication. Although not every grandparent is tech-savvy enough to navigate a smartphone. Luckily, Lively flip phones offer user accessibility and functionality by featuring senior-friendly buttons.
2. Share photos
Encourage your children to send photos to their grandparents. Quick snapshots can become mutual jokes and provide an inside look into each other’s lives. Share pictures of each other’s homes and special events to stay connected. Consider collaborating on a photo album grandchildren can look back on for years to come.
3. Research family roots
Discovering family heritage can be an exciting adventure, and bringing grandchildren along for the ride gives them a sense of validation. Grandparents that spend time with their grandchildren filling out their family tree will share stories and laughing fits aplenty. Once completed, an archived family history will become a treasured keepsake for generations.
4. Take a road trip
If the distance between Grandma and your little ones poses an issue, you’ll need to occasionally hop in the car for a cross-country (or cross-neighborhood) road trip. Physical proximity is crucial when building a strong relationship between your children and their grandparents. Make regular visits a priority, and allow your children to spend quality time with their elders. Road trips will become an exciting event children look forward to every year, gifting your children with cherished memories down the road.
5. Share a meal
Weekly family dinners bring everyone together and provide opportunities for quality one-on-one time among family members. If possible, encourage Grandma and Grandpa to host dinners and prepare their favorite meal with your children. Cooking is a time-honored tradition that can give grandchildren an insight into their ancestors’ history.
6. Utilize snail mail
While digital technology may be a streamlined mode of communication, traditional mail is often more meaningful. Facilitate a pen pal relationship between children and their grandparents. Your kids will look forward to checking the mailbox every day, and your parents will be grateful for the chance to use saved postcards.
7. Give regular updates
Keeping up with their grandchild’s life can be difficult, especially for grandparents living further away. Share milestones with your relatives. That way, a grandparent won’t miss out on a single precious moment.
An unbreakable bond between grandchildren and grandparents is beneficial for all parties involved. Children will grow up with more emotional and social confidence, while gaining a sense of history from their grandparent. Older generations will cherish their meaningful connection with youngsters and your tight-knit family will stay connected for years to come.