No matter your age, your relationship with your grandparents is important. Grandparents bring a whole new dimension to your family with a perspective and experience unique to the wisdom they have to share. While it is true that fostering this relationship is easier when you live close together, it’s possible to build a relationship between your kids and their grandparents no matter where they live.
With the age of technology, that has never been more relevant than it is today. But even though we have this helpful technology that offers solutions for independent living and that can shorten the distance between us, nothing beats in-person visits every once in a while. If that’s not possible, the relationship will take extra effort on your part.
1. Face to Face
If your parents live nearby, take your kids over regularly. There was a time not too long ago when spending time with your extended family was a regular occurrence on Sunday afternoons. You don’t have to choose that day, but a weekly event where your kids spend time with their grandparents on a schedule gives them something to look forward to. After all, who spoils kids better than grandparents?
Your kids will enjoy the extra attention, and your parents get to spoil their favorite little people and tell their stories to a new audience.
2. Jump on the Internet
If you don’t live within driving distance of your parents or a weekly meet isn’t possible, there’s always the internet. The problem with communication over the internet is most people have given way to making texting a priority. But texting doesn’t communicate emotion, and relationships can fall flat.
That’s especially true with children because they need interpersonal interaction. It’s hard to bond with someone over only words. So, set up a weekly chat with Grandma and Grandpa using a face to face app like FaceTime, Skype, or Zoom and stick to the schedule.
If your parents live in a retirement community, they probably have their internet set up through a community system like Sentrics, and all they have to do is download the app you choose and log on.
3. Exchange Letters
Even though you schedule regular visits between your kids and your parents, there’s nothing like the excitement of receiving a piece of mail addressed directly to you when you’re a child. And imagine how excited your parents would be receiving something other than junk mail and bills in the mail.
Go old school and encourage them to become pen pals. Your parents will cherish the letters now, and your kids will cherish them for a lifetime. The more communication your kids have with their grandparents, the deeper their bond will be.
4. Special Occasions and Any Occasion
Grandparents don’t have to be sectioned off to a weekend visit if you want to involve them in your day to day life. Bring them to your playtime at the park, soccer games, school plays, and zoo trips. The point is to bring your parents into your child’s world as much as you can.
And having your parents babysit while you get some much-needed time off not only helps you, but it adds depth to their relationship.
All of these moments are building blocks that tie your kids to their grandparents and vice versa. They might not realize it now, but these are memories they’ll cherish, and you will too.
The bottom line to helping your kids bond with their grandparents is simple: The more love you can bring into your child’s life, the better. And the ties they have today will play a part in who they become in the future.