Many people have relationships with their grandmother or grandfather that play a role in defining their lives. In some families, grandparents will instinctively play an active and positive role in their grandchildren’s lives and connect with grandparents.
In others, it takes a little more work to get to this stage. How can you get your children to connect with grandparents?
The impact a grandparent can have on the life of their grandchildren goes beyond the stereotype of spoiling them rotten. In fact, a healthy relationship can do wonders for the mental and physical health for both parties.
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The Importance Of Maintaining A Good Relationship Between Grandparents & Grandchildren
When it comes to a child’s development, the role of a loving grandparent should never be underestimated. On one hand, you have someone to talk to and guide you through the ups and downs of parenting. On the other hand, your kids have someone that offers them:
- Lessons based on life experience
- Kindness and patience
- Safety and security
- A sense of adventure
- Family traditions
- Unconditional love
Most importantly, grandparents are a great source of confidence for children. The everyday demands of a parent increases with each generation, so they may not have time to help build their child’s confidence.
However grandparents can, whether it be helping them master a skill, cheering them on at sporting events or instilling them with cultural knowledge. Grandparents are in a prime position to support a child’s development in a way a parent may not be able.
This kind of positive development will in time become the foundation for children to grow into capable, compassionate adults.
Not every family is blessed with solid relationships. For whatever reason, you might have a complicated relationship with your own parents, which makes it hard to then encourage a normal relationship between them and your children.
However, it’s important to work on ways to come together for your children’s wellbeing, and to remember the positive role grandparents can have on their lives.
While it’s natural to disagree with one another at times, it’s crucial to try and figure out constructive ways to move forward.
Ultimately, building good family relationships can help your children feel secure and loved, overcome learning and behavioural difficulties, and provide a strong foundation on which to build their own relationships later in life.
4 Ways To Encourage Your Children To Bond and Connect With Grandparents
There are many ways for your kids to bond with grandparents. To spark some ideas, here are a few to think about.
- Start A Project Together
Working on a project together is an easy way to forge a connection, share in the same experience, and learn from one another. Be open to suggestions from your kids and their grandparents about potential activities.
They could work on an art project together, cook a family recipe once a week, start a blog, or tend a vegetable garden – there are dozens of possibilities to explore.
- Volunteering In The Community Together
Whatever age the grandparents are, encouraging them to volunteer with your kids in the community is a great way to encourage bonding.
This might take the form of visiting local hospitals or getting involved in fundraising – anything that means spending time together and helping others.
Not to mention that altruistic activities are fantastic experiences for grandparents and grandchildren to build a relationship from.
- Travelling Together
Retirement often gives grandparents the time and space they need to travel more. While it might not be the first thing that springs to mind, multigenerational travel isn’t such a bad idea.
Travelling not only opens up our minds and builds self-esteem – it helps us connect to the world around us, as well as each other. Grandparents are wise and worldly, and can make surprisingly good travel buddies.
- Keeping In Touch Over Long Distances
Not every child has the luxury of being close to their grandparents. Naturally, technology has done a stellar job of bridging this divide.
Of course, your kids could keep it old-school with phone calls and letters, but regular video chats, texts, or emailing can be just as effective – if not more so.
These suggestions are only a few ways you can help foster a bond between your children and their grandparents. The relationship is a valuable one, so do your best to nurture it. Your children and parents will undoubtedly be grateful in the long term.
How Does This Relationship Effect Grandparents?
We’re often busy thinking about our children’s wellbeing, but what about the grandparents? The 2018 Modern Australian Communities Report sheds light on how many Australians seniors feel.
It reveals that 43.2% of seniors say they sometimes feel lonely these days. 46.1% of younger seniors are the most likely to say they sometimes feel lonely these days, while 35.5% of older seniors are the least likely to feel so.
Considering that 41% of younger seniors consider themselves as the “keep to myself type”, this data indicates that there is a downward trend in Australian seniors actively engaging with family, friends and other people in the community, which can lead to loneliness.
Scientifically speaking, humans need to interact with one another, and this feeling doesn’t disappear with old age. Unfortunately, seniors can be quite vulnerable to loneliness and social isolation, which may trigger feelings of depression and anxiety, as well as a range of other health issues.
There are many ways to combat loneliness, from getting more involved with the community to picking up a creative hobby. For grandparents, one method is to strengthen their relationships with their grandkids.
By using the aforementioned methods, you can help alleviate your parent’s loneliness by helping them bond with their grandchildren. Grandparents and grandchildren have important roles to play in each other’s lives, so do your best to foster this bond to watch your family grow closer and happier.
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Shay de Silva