Today, most grandparents live away from their grandchildren, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be close! This New Year, check out these tips for kids to take bonding with grandparents to the next level and become best friends with each other!
Grandparents are the first friends you make as a child. They teach you so many things but as we grow up we tend to get busy in our lives. My Grandma used to stay with us as we were growing up and every night we would snuggle up to her for mythological stories of Gods and demons. She made us understand the meaning of discipline and routine – the importance of waking up early, going to bed early and having fixed timings to eat, study and play. Needless to say, she had a huge influence in my life.
There are many benefits to a good grandparent-grandchild relationship. For one, a grandparent is not a parent, which means usual parenting rules don’t apply! Grandparents love spoiling their grandkids, for whom this is a welcome change from discipline. This is another place where kids can get unconditional love combined with wisdom. Not to mention history – grandparents love nostalgia!
These isn’t just empty talk, it’s been proven by science! Several studies show that children who have good experiences bonding with grandparents generally have better interpersonal relationships in general. They tend to value family ties more and are less prone to depression.
In the age of nuclear families, grandparents do not usually stay with the family. Yet, whenever I see the bond my kids share with their grandparents, I am easily reminded of my bond with my grandmother. So even if your parents or in-laws may not be staying with you, you can encourage your kids to bond with their grandparents. Here are a few tips to help.
5 Tips to Encourage Bonding with Grandparents
1. Give Gifts
Help the kids buy their grandparents a gift. Understandably, it can be hard to shop for someone who’s more than 50 years older than you, but that’s part of bridging the gap! This will also give the kids a reason to learn more about their grandparents’ interests, likes and dislikes.
2. Spend time together
Let the kids spend the day with them. It’ll probably be a quieter, slower day than they’re used to, but don’t worry about it. Grandparents and grandchildren tend to find their own rhythm. If they’re not close, you may have to plan an activity to involve all of them. One good idea is to plan a family trip with everyone.
3. Bring out old photos
Kids enjoy looking at photos of their parents as kids. It may surprise them to see a completely unknown form of their grandparents as well! Let the two generations sit together and pore over the albums. The kids are sure to ask questions and the seniors will enjoy reminiscing old times. One day those memories will be lost if they don’t share them with you.
4. Create new memories
Don’t miss out any opportunity to create new memories. Your girl’s race is coming up? Invite the grandparents to come cheer her. Your boy is performing in the Annual Day play? Let Grandma and Grandpa come and click photos! And in India, you have lots of opportunities in the form of festivals, which are excellent occasions for bonding with grandparents.
5. Just Talk!
Let the kids have a free flowing conversation with their grandparents. Let them talk about their school, their best friends, their hobbies and everything else under the sun. Many parents these days are too busy with various responsibilities, and grandparents are perfect in such a scenario. They can spend any amount of time listening to their beloved grandkids just chatter away!
As people age, all they need is time with their loved ones. The best way to tell someone you love them is to spend time with them. When you encourage your kids to bond with their grandparents, you are teaching them a valuable life lesson. So this year, make a new resolution. Encourage your kids to spend more quality time bonding with grandparents rather than in front of a screen. Who knows, they might just end up with a new best friend!