Building A Bond Between Grandparents And GrandchildrenBy: Scarlett Capelli
Grandchildren are one of the special joys you receive as you get older. While raising your own children, you may not have had the time or the energy to spend as much time with them as you wished to. Now you can build a special bond with your grandchild.
If you have more than one grandchild, you should try to spend quality time with each one individually. If both their parents are working, these children may not get much attention separately. Plan a unique activity for each one, a memory that only the two of you will have. These activities can be as simple as a nature walk in the woods or playing a board game. You can also teach your grandchild a skill, such as how to play the piano or how to cook. When he grows up and uses these skills as an adult, your grandchild will fondly remember who it was that taught to him.
Another way to get close to your grandchild is just to talk to him and then to listen to what he has to say. Again, with both his parents being busy, the child may not have anyone who really listens to him. Establishing open and close communication when the child is young may lead your grandchild to maintain that communication when he is older and you may pleased to find that he seeks your advice when making important decisions about his future.
You can also share the family history with your grandchild. A child can feel more secure knowing that he belongs to an extended family group. Tell the child about relatives that he may not know and share with him any information that you have about your ancestors. Most children are interested in knowing where their family came from. You can spend an afternoon going through old photo albums and scrapbooks, telling your grandchild small facts about each picture. Also share with him stories of your own youth and his parent’s childhood. Not only will this entertain your grandchild, it is a way to ensure that the family histories get passed on to the next generation.
A young child will become excited when he receives mail with his name on the envelope. In addition to birthday and Christmas cards, you can also send him cards for other holidays as well as short notes and letters. This can make your grandchild feel that he is special.
If you do not live close to your grandchild, you can still form a bond with him. In the age of cell phones and computers, pictures are easy to send back and forth between you and the child. You could also mail a video tape of yourself showing him activities that you like to do and in return you can ask the child what activities he likes to do. When there are family get togethers, you can still plan to spend quality time with your grandchildren, although you may have to plan a group activity as time may be an issue in trying to plan activities with each one of them separately.
Being a grandparent can be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life. Building a strong and loving bond with your grandchildren can lead to a close relationship that will last you the rest of your life.
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