10 ways to help children connect with their grandparents
Created by Shikha Batra Updated on Sep 26, 2019
There are many ways to describe the beautiful bond that is shared between a grandchild and a grandparent.
--Everyone needs to have access both to grandparents and grandchildren in order to be a full human being. Margaret Mead
-- There’s no place like home... except Grandma’s.
----"Asal se sood pyaraa hota hai" or "The interest amount is more dearer than principal amount" to a moneylender.
I have always heard my mother say this to me and now after having two daughters I can attempt to understand what she meant. And this feeling of love and joy is mutual for my children too. They love going to Nani's house as those are the days when they are in 'no restriction zone' ,when they have the complete freedom to live life according to their own terms and conditions, they can demand anything to eat, play anything, sleep whenever they want, wake up at leisure, do lots of masti which is otherwise a BIG NO at home and in general rediscover the joys of being a child! They have the backing of their grandparents and even we parents do not want to interfere during those short visits to grandparent’s house. I am sure we all have fondest memories related to our grandparents.
Grandparents play an important role in the lives of their grandchildren.
They have a wealth of knowledge along with experience which makes them the best teachers for our kids. They teach them values, pass on the family traditions to them, and other valuable life lessons such as importance of hard work, social norms, virtues such as honesty, respect for elders, joy, tolerance, compassion, peace, gentleness, faith and kindness. Grandparents can be great role models and influences, and they provide a sense of cultural heritage and family history. They can encourage child's healthy development which can improve child's developmental and learning skills. Children need love and grandparents can fill their life with it. They provide their grand kids with a sense of safety and protection. They are children's companion in play and exploration. They can serve as their nurturer, role model, and historian. Similarly interaction with grandchildren can give grandparents enjoyment, satisfaction, and companionship.
In present day scenario increasing number of families are becoming nuclear due to various factors, including young couples moving to other cities for better job opportunities and grandparents get to see their children and grandchildren only during vacation, or special occasions, or as and when the need arise. Geographical distance may make it hard for children to have regular and meaningful contact with their grandparents .
But given that a grandparent-grandchild bond is one of the beautiful bits of a family as a parent we should try and bridge the gap between two generations and facilitate meaningful and easier ways of communication between them.
Some of the ways to create and nurture this bond linking two generations are:
1. Sending letters regularly.
2. Sending personalized cards or gifts for special occasions.
3. Exchanging pictures through posts or whatsapp can help both feel connected to each other.
4. Creating a photo album of the whole family on internet of previous visits and adding notes about the pictures will help in reviving memories.
5. Regular phone calls are a good way to maintain contact. Phone calls on special occasions do make a difference.
6. Sending e-mails or keeping in touch on social networking websites.
7. Making Skype calls by scheduling a regular time for calls say every weekend whereby they get to see each other face to face can help in bridging even miles.
8. Visiting each other during holidays or special occasions.
9. Trips outside home during vacations where grandparents and children both are free of their responsibilities. This can leave good memories and help maintain emotional contact with each other.
10. Arranging surprises for each other by sending gifts, useful items etc.through someone.
Grandparents can offer unconditional love to their grandchildren and take care of even their smallest needs which we as parents miss on due to other responsibilities. They also inhabit a special place in the family as trusted adults who provide a safe place for children to turn to in times of stress, when they feel parents can not be approached. An independent and developing relationship between grandparents and grandchildren is invaluable for everybody.
| Sep 23, 2015
My daughter stays at her grandparents house until we go home. She is so attached to them that she wants to stay with them. Agreed with the article that kids learn a lot from their grandparents. Indeed my daughter has learnt a lot from them. I am lucky that way because she does fuss around food.
| Sep 24, 2015
Hi my son stay with my in laws in kerala and my parents are in Chennai and he now speaks and understand his mother tongue (Malayalam) and my parents only know telugu (Love Marriage). Im in a kind of confused like how to make them connect. Even for me it is difficult to communicate to him since I meet him once a month and hardly know malayalam. Seeking some useful advice. please.
| Sep 27, 2015
Hi VenKat! I can understand how frustrating it could be when yr child is not able to comprehend what you speak and communicate with u. u could try following strategies to make him learn: 1. Research studies indicate child needs to be exposed 30% of his/her waking time to the language u want him to learn. So u need to spend more time with him and communicate in your language. You could begin with simple words like Mummy, Daddy, grandparents, and basic needs like water, milk,food etc. U could be in touch with him over phone and reinforce same words. 2. Write these basic words for yr in laws and they could reinforce the same. So every week add more words to his vocabulary. 3 if he is unable to understand u could explain through gestures and repeat the same. 4. U and yr spouse could use same language for the child. 5. I could buy picture books reinforcing same words. I am sure with continued exposure and repeated use, he would sooner or later pick up your language. Hope this helps!
| Jul 31, 2016
Hi, my parents mostly over pamper my 4 year old son and protect him from getting scolded when they commit mistakes. Doesn't it affect the values growing in the child? They try to fullfill all his wishes, regardless of whether that is good for him or not, is it ok to do so? Please share your views.
| Apr 10, 2017
hi Sourav Paul! how r u! u r right from your point of view but when u see things from their perspective,u would realize they are not wrong too. they have been there and done that. it's their love for your child that makes them defend him. please do the take it otherwise as they have no intentions to spoil him. u could calmly talk to them and share what u feel . I am sure they would definitely understand your point of view. hope this helps!