Most grandparents love spending time with their grandkids and spoiling them with good food. However, that’s not always an easy task if your grandchildren are too far away, too busy with school and chores, or simply at that age when they think they are “too cool” to hang out with their grandparents. Luckily, there are always ways to bond with your grandchild if you are willing to dedicate some time to learning what interests them or how you could help them out with school, parents, love life, etc. With that in mind, here are a couple of suggestions that might help you connect with your grandkid regardless of whether you live a block away or an entire continent away.
Research has shown that the grandkids who remember their grandparents being around when they were young have also felt much closer to them when they grew up. So, if your grandchild is still a baby and you want to build a strong bond, don’t wait for them to grow up – get to know them right away. You can always help the parents with babysitting, preparing meals, and even changing the diapers when needed. Plus, you’d also get to be a part of the important milestones, such as their first steps, words, day at school, etc. Being a part of their family, as much as you can, will definitely pay off in more ways than one.
Get along with their parents
Your grandchildren’s parents are often those who decide when you can hang out with your grandkids and for how long, so it’s important to get along with them. This means not breaking their rules and giving your grandchild sweets before bed or buying them a puppy when their parents said no. Focus on making the parents’ job easier by taking good care of your grandchildren, and you will definitely be given plenty of time to bond with them.
You can’t be a good grandparent if you’re sick, bedbound, or for one reason or another, unable to keep up with your young grandkids. Being healthy will not only allow you to spend more time with your grandkids, but it will also enable you to actually do more things with them, from going to concerts and school plays to simply playing in the backyard or teaching them how to ride a bike. Moreover, this is a two-way process as well – the healthier you are, the closer you’ll be able to get to your grandkids, and the closer you get, the better you will feel.
Be up to date
You never know when your grandkids might have a free weekend, win a prize at school, or hurt themselves by falling off a bike and need somebody to cheer them up, which is why you should stay up to date with their lives. Knowing what they are doing will make it easier for you to choose the right time for bonding or offer a piece of advice when they need it. For instance, if your grandchild wants to apply forgreat paid internships, it might be the perfect moment for you to teach them the best ways to save money and socialize with the future coworkers.
Maintain a long distance bond
If your grandkids live far away, let them know you’re thinking about them by sending them gifts from time to time. If they are young, you can send cookies and toys. When it comes to the older grandkids, you can help their parents buy them some technological gadget (although sweets work for any age really). Moreover, since we do live in the digital age, it might be a good time for you to learn your way around computers. This way, you’d get a chance to connect with your grandchild by playing video games together, talking to each other on Skype, and sharing interesting photos.
Be their safe place
One of the best things about being a grandparent is the fact that you are not a parent. This means that your grandkids can come to you when they get a bad grade at school, when they don’t know how to approach their crush, or when they get a new piercing that they really want to show someone without getting any punishment or judgment. In these moments, it’s important to listen to them and understand them – and, of course, not tell their parents about it, unless it’s something actually serious.
The key to successfully bonding with your grandkids is understanding their needs and respecting their parents’ wishes. After all, you are the oldest – and the wisest – member of the family, so it’s your job to be there for all of them, share your wisdom with the youngest generation, and listen to them as well. By doing so, you are guaranteed to build a strong and long-lasting connection with your grandchild that will definitely improve both of your lives.
This guest post was graciously provided by Isabel William. Isabel is a consultant by day and a Blogger by night. Mom to twins 24/7, and recent editor on Health&Menal Health on Rippedme. Her areas of interest are well being, mental health, self-improvement as well as beauty.