The Importance of Grandparents in a Child’s Life
What would you do if you never knew your grandparents? Do you think there might be a void in your heart because you wonder what they would be like? You look at those great portraits of your stoic great ancestors on the family picture wall and you wonder what life would have been like for them. Grandparents are very important in a child’s life. They are great teachers of history, they give mom and dad a break when they want a night away from the baby. Don’t forget all the great smells at grandma and grandpa’s house. The smell of warm cookies, a hint of hot chocolate, a glass of cold milk and best of all the spoiling that grandparents do to their grandchildren. Grandparents are the ones that teach family traditions. Children should know their family history and where they came from. It’s important for children to know their heritage. Different nationalities have different traditions and family festivities and the different types of food are a great learning experience for children.
The role grandparents play is important and often indirect. Most of the significance of grandparents to grandchildren is seen through the support and help they give to their parents. Grandparents are seen as the mediators of the family. Sometimes they call them the family arbitrators, watchdogs, roots, and supporters. Grandparents have a lot to offer the whole family.
They mean support for the parents, and know all the traditions and the family tree and history and are great teachers. For the grandchildren, grandparents are models for good behavior. Usually, kids do not see them so often, so they can be a good listening ear for a middle schooler or very playful with the younger children. The opportunity of grandparents together supports the nucleus of the family, while allowing children to grow and develop healthy interests. It’s important if grandparents live close to set aside some time so that the grandparents can get in your child’s routine. Frequent interactions between children and their grandparents strengthen the bonds and make it easier for parents.
If grandparents don’t live close by, you can still work on including them in the child’s life with phone calls, Skype, and other social media. It is also a great way to get out of the house sometimes and go for a weekend at their home. Traveling to see the grandparents are one of the best memories of many kids.
The best ways are to get creative and introduce your child to people from older generations. There may be some neighbors that are friendly and also need some company, or maybe invite over some other family members or friends around that age. You can always volunteer at an elderly home and take your child with you. This way both sides will benefit – the older people will have some company and your child will have a nice experience.
There are different ways you can connect with your grandparents and this connection helps them with their health in general. With a good and healthy connection to the family, the people become happier. This goes especially for grandparents. They were as young as our children were at one time and you want to make them feel important even in their elderly years.
Here are five ideas for a fun grandparent-child time:
If you live in another country and it is difficult to arrange a quick visit with a grandparent, the only thing you need is the internet or an email account. There are different apps kids can teach grandparents to use. They can play games on the net, they can draw together or just communicate on social media.
A great way to connect to someone is by reading books that interest you both. Buy some of the books your grandchildren are reading and then discuss some of them on the phone or via Skype. It makes a great conversation starter and kids open up more when they feel comfortable about a passion they are interested in.
Build something together
You may live far away from your grandchild so you might have to get a little creative about how you will spend your time together. One grandparent decided to start sending items to his grandchild. He shipped items that were not assembled and then built it for his grandchild quickly after he arrived. He built his grandchild a solid oak wagon. He then decided to invite his grandchild to help him repair a chair outdoors. Grandpa said that doing these projects together helped them bond immensely.
Another grandmother decided to buy a sketchbook that she would share with her grandsons. She took markers, stickers, and the sketchbook and whenever she flew out to see them, they would color the pages, write things down and have some creative time together. They would always write down the date she was there. She would do the exact same thing over the years, and now when they are all grown up they cherish those memories together and laugh.
Just about all of you can read books to your grandchildren but starring in one with both of you is something you must try. One grandmother created a fairytale book with her granddaughter. They used both their names as the main characters. They both enjoyed reading the book together when grandma visits. Grandma knows that her granddaughter’s parents enjoy reading the book to her granddaughter at bedtime. You can also record singing some lullabies or read a book to your grandchild so when they miss you, they can listen to your voice.
Grandparents can be creative and bridge these long-distance relationships with their grandchildren with different ways to keep grandma, grandpa and the family together.