If you have children, you need to try your best to nurture their relationship with your parents (their grandparents). There are exceptions, but grandparents are likely to give their grandchildren the sort of unconditional love that will undoubtedly make a great impact on the children’s lives. During uncertain times in the family – such as illness, remarriage, or divorce – children may find it better to speak to their grandparents than even their parents.
These days, a lot of grandparents live very far from their grandchildren. How then can a strong relationship be nurtured when the distance is that much? One of the solutions makes use of technology to evoke the kind of experiences that close proximity families usually enjoy. All in all, a strong grandkid-grandparent relationship is majorly dependent on the parents’ willingness to nurture it. The following are some tips that will help to do this:
1. Build the relationship
Just like any relationship worth establishing, the one between grandparents and their grandchildren will require time and attention. Take care of your part by setting up numerous opportunities for interaction. For divorced people, you should cast aside any bad blood you might have with your former in-laws. This is because what your child stands to gain from having a relationship with their grandparents is quite valuable.
Read More: The Role Of A Grandparent
2. Set up limits for grandparents
A lot of grandparents will use your parenting template and enforce them with your children. However, there will be a few who will attempt to impose their methods. You need to explain that this confuses the kids and also undermines your authority.
3. Don’t allow distance to stifle the relationship
Grandparents living far from you will need more creativity to ensure that contact is maintained. Apart from visits, phone calls, video calls, and emails should be used to maintain the relationship. Consistent distant contact will make it easier to enjoy in-person visitations.
4. Set up activities to create memories
It is important that you create memories to last a long time since your kids will outlive their grandparents. Schedule activities that will create concrete memories of the time spent in each other’s company. You should also take pictures and create a scrapbook.
5. Understand the limitations of your parents
You need to make your kids understand that their grandparents are not as strong or active as them. You should also not end up stressing your parents with child care that is beyond their capabilities – whether physical or emotional.
6. Don’t be jealous of their relationship
Children who develop close bonds with their grandparents may seem to prefer them to their actual parents. However, you need to know that your kid still loves you – just like how you live with your child even when you give birth to another one. Also, don’t let any dispute with your parents cloud your kids’ bond with their grandparents.
7. Dealing with illness and death
It’s no secret that we have limited time with elderly relatives. You should try to explain illnesses to your children and tell them to continue to love and respect their grandparents. Consider the fact that children are likely to mourn differently than older people. They may become reclusive or develop behavior issues. Give them opportunities to talk about their feelings – whether with you or with a professional.
If your parents have passed away, find other seniors to play the grandparent role. Older relatives may grasp the chance to build a bond with your children. You could even consider programs that match senior volunteers with children.
8. Reduce your interference
Special bonds don’t need to include regular physical contact. Skype, Facetime, WhatsApp, Telegram, and other platforms allow the development of stronger relationships in spite of the geographical distance. Regardless of the type of contact, try your best to give your kids enough space to freely communicate with their grandparents.
9. Respect the wishes of your parents
You need to recognize that not every parent wants to be an active grandparent. A lot of them have worked hard for an extended period. Some of them just want to enjoy this free time after years of hard work. Their definition of enjoyment might not include the bickering of children, and that’s alright. If you have parents in this category, other ways exist for your kids to form special bonds. One of the best places for this is local assisted living facilities like senior living myrtle beach. A lot of these facilities have playgrounds and other activities in that both kids and seniors can participate.
The importance of reconnecting grandchildren with their grandparents
Even though this separation usually happens due to understandable reasons, trying to re-establish a relationship with your children and your parents will come with several benefits. Some of them include:
- To create a sense of caring and compassion. Kids who learn how to care for other people at a tender age usually become caring adults. Taking care of pets, needy people, elderly people, or people, in general, can have a proper influence on kids and their character development.
- To enhance the lives of seniors. For elderly people, having younger people around can be helpful in keeping them mentally engaged. It will also be helpful in reducing depression in cases where there is social isolation.
- To improve social tolerance of aging. A lot of kids end up having preconceived notions about seniors. Some kids may see old people as weak, mean, ignorant, or even socially unacceptable. These kids may grow up to avoid old people. The best way this can be avoided is by giving them enough opportunities to spend time with seniors during their development stages. With this, they can see that old people are very wise and well-informed.
- Children being around old people will make them acceptable to growing old in the future. However, this benefit involves more than this. If kids see that senior individuals dealing with illnesses and disabilities can still go on with their lives, they will likely be more accepting and even more knowledgeable of this process when they grow older themselves.