Being a parent and especially a grandparent is a beautiful, unique and a gratifying experience. It creates a sense of self-fulfilment especially if we are lucky enough to pass down great values and beliefs to our grandchildren. It grants us a certain warmth that translates to a smile whenever we see our little ones happy and embracing all life has to offer.
Grandparents’ day is coming in a few days. This is a good opportunity for us grandpas and grandmas to further develop a good relationship with our grandkids. For nanas like me, how do we become the ‘cool’ grandparent that they want to be with or remember? Here’s some advices on how we oldies can happily bond with our grandchildren.
Pass on your wisdom and life experiences
Every child loves to hear stories, it’s definitely a good idea to share ours too! Sharing our life experiences and wisdom with our grandchildren is equivalent to a priceless gift. They learn from our journey, mistakes, accomplishments and later they can draw inspiration. Since every child learns best when they are having fun, we can incorporate and share our wisdom through creative storytelling or delivering them in an interactive way.
Everybody loves surprises, who doesn’t? An excellent idea we can all do is to pay our granddaughters and grandsons a surprise visit. We could pick them up after school on any random day and treat them to the nearest ice cream parlor. The kids will definitely have tons of stories to share about school, their playmates and how they admire their teachers to you.
Don’t be clueless; do your research
In order to delight our grandkids, we sometimes must to do some research about their interests, their likes and dislikes. Their interests could be a variety of cool toys, the latest cartoons or movies, books and authors they love to read, daily inspirations, or the type of sports they play. This will help us start a conversation with them and engage in different activities in line with their preferences and interests. My grandchildren all participate in sports so that gives us an easy starting point. One of my grandsons loves food – he wakes up wondering what culinary delight he can find each day. So we find interesting recipes and shop. One granddaughter is Highly competitive so she loves to play card games.
Compliment them for good deeds
Kids get excited if they aced an activity or a test. They mostly get stickers or stamps for their efforts and high test scores. The same concept of giving them praises and compliment applies whenever they behaved well or have done great deeds towards their brothers, sisters, parents, buddies and to anybody. It builds confidence while cultivating good values. Parents today often compliment children on making good choices for simple things like food or turning off the TV. We can also encourage this good behavior.
Invite them over to your home
As grandparents, we don’t have the luxury of spending most of our time with our grandkids especially if we live in other towns. What we can do is to invite them over once in a while. Organize a simple slumber party or a movie date on a Friday night. There are a lot of ways to encourage them to pay you a visit. We just have to put a squeeze on our creative juices to get them primed and excited to spend the day or night with us.
The act of gift-giving
Gifts should be given on special occasions and for stellar performances. The sole reason behind limiting ourselves to give random gifts is to not spoil our grandchildren. This summer after my four year old granddaughter had spent a couple of weeks with us, I took her back to her home 600 miles away. The next morning she woke me up wanting to go swing on her play set. When I resisted, she said in all earnestness, “But Nana, I’m spoiled”. Of course, I could not resist! 🙂
Photo credit to Photostock.