Grandchildren are one of life’s pure joys but even the happiest of grandparents may have trouble finding adequate time to spend with their grandchildren.
Today’s grandparents are a different breed than those of generations past; many are still employed and most are active members of their communities, with varied social and other commitments.
Carving out segments of time to dedicate to grandkids is well worth the effort, however, since the grandparent/grandchild relationship is one of those most valued by both generations.
What Kids Need
Grandchildren are typically pretty easy to please. Children thrive on love and attention, both things that grandparents specialise in.
While they may enjoy getting special gifts from their grandparents, kids are generally happy to spend time with their grandparents, just talking or participating in simple activities.
If they live nearby, grandparents can include their grandchildren in their everyday errands and chores, making the time fun for both.
Little children are content to buy groceries or help to wash the car, and older kids may enjoy an afternoon of baking or gardening. It doesn’t take a lot of bells and whistles to impress grandkids, just making them an important part of the lives of their grandparents is enough.
One at a Time
While it is fun to gather the whole family at once, setting aside a bit of time for each grandchild individually can be especially enjoyable.
When grandparents visit with each child separately, they can focus all of their attention on that child, building special memories.
Having one-on-one time with their grandparents makes kids feel special and gives them the opportunity to really get to know the older generation, often developing new interests that are introduced to them by their grandparents.
Some activities, such as fishing or playing golf, may become lifelong hobbies that they share with their grandparents and someday, with their own children and grandchildren, too.
While the relationships between parents and children can sometimes be strained, grandparents and grandchildren typically get along famously.
Since grandparents are not usually responsible for the everyday care of their grandchildren, they are free to simply enjoy their company without the pressures of parenthood.
Likewise, grandkids can share time with their grandparents, never feeling that they are being judged or graded on their accomplishments.
The bond that exists between the two generations is a strong one and contributes considerably to the happiness of both parties.
Sometimes, time and distance make it impossible for grandparents to arrange regular visits with their grandchildren, but there are things that they can do to maintain the special bond that the two share.
Prearranged phone calls, email correspondence, and good, old-fashioned letter writing can help grandparents and grandchildren to keep in touch.
Technically savvy grandparents can even email photos and video clips to their grandchildren, with the kids returning the favour. Text messaging is a quick way to send a short note and is favoured by kids everywhere.
With a little practice, grandparents can become quite adept at mastering the language shortcuts of texting and may be pleased to learn that their grandchild refers to them as their “BFF (best friend, forever) Grandma.”