Bridging the gap between you and your grandchildren
As a grandparent, the relationship you have with your grandchildren is unique and special. However, generational differences and changes in communication styles can be difficult to ignore and may require some adjustment from both sides.
Whether you have a strong bond with your grandchildren or find it a little tough to connect sometimes, there are many things that can bring you closer together.
Teach them something
You don’t have to be an expert to teach your grandchildren something, nor do you need to know about anything overly complicated or remarkable. Spending time together focused on a joint task is engaging for the both of you and can help build bonds.
Some ideas include cooking, woodwork, fishing, board games, sewing, card games or going through a world map. Who knows, you may learn something too!
Be interested in one of their hobbies
As grandchildren reach their teen years in particular, maintaining a relationship can become a bit strained. I’m sure we can all recall at least one moment during our adolescence that makes us cringe.
That’s why it’s good to hone into a topic that your grandchild may be particularly interested in, such as sport, school, cars or reading. To avoid the ‘yes / no’ answers, ask open-ended questions such as ‘what tricks are you learning at soccer right now?’ or ‘what is the best thing about school holidays?’
Relate your experiences to theirs
There are some experiences in life that are unavoidable regardless of when you grew up. These can range from braving the first day of school, going through a break-up or coming to a crossroads in life.
Many things that your grandchild is going through can be related to your experiences in some way or another. These are the times to share some of your own memories, wisdom or advice on how you got through or handled the situation.
Families who eat together stay together! Food brings people together and sitting down to eat a meal creates feelings of warmth, security and belonging.
Meal times are a fantastic opportunity for conversation to flow and families to connect, plan and learn from one another. Perhaps you could serve up something that you taught your grandchildren to cook!
Being a grandparent is truly a special role and generally comes without the same pressures of being a parent. It is never too late to establish traditions and memories that last a lifetime, and the above suggestions may help bring you and your grandchildren closer together.
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