Have you ever wondered how some grand -parents have close relationships with their grandchildren while others do not?
Grandchildren don't automatically value their grandparents. Instead, they observe and learn to value the efforts you do to create those bonds...
Detached or uninvolved grandparents are unlikely to find a place of honour in the family circle. Also, grandparents who thrive on creating family drama and stirring up conflict are unlikely to be valued family members either.
Let’s see how to develop lasting bonds with grandchildren.
Physical Proximity- consider yourself lucky, if are staying closer to your grand kids, but this proximity is not very necessary particularly in the digital world. More important is, how you spend a quality time with the kids.
Be the fun-Do some of the things with your grandchildren that their parents don’t
Be a fan-With their busy schedules, it can be hard for parents to be there for all their kids’ events. Consider this as an opportunity. Go and cheer them on their performances in their games, shows, PTA meets etc
Cook what they love – is the easiest and best approach. it may not always be healthy.
Be tech savvy- show interest in learning whatever platform they like to use. learn from them. join What’s app, Instagram, Face book, learn to use zoom, Gmeet and stay connected.
They love travelling -Plan short vacations with them- choose a destination of their choice and plan with them fun activities during the journey
They love parties, so host hem– host B-day parties, celebrations and make that day memorable for them
They love gifts, so, be generous-remember important occasions and shower them with gifts
Provide support, whenever they need – if they are feeling low. Be a pillar for them
Discuss latest /newest in the world with teens- Update yourselves with the latest events. Find topics to discuss with kids. They don’t like family gossips.
Don’t discuss their parents with them- NO Never Ever. Don’t ask their personal details. Don’t analyse or be judgemental about them. Parents are in their first circle of emotional bond. Don’t stir this ever.
Don’t share your insecurities with them- Don’t expect them to be a support for you in your old age. Don’t ask. Don’t expect. Be assured, they will always be there when you need them, if you have created strong bonds. The more you pressurize, the distance grows.
Frequency of contact-
Try to stay in frequent contact with your grandchildren. Personal touch, if they are living close or through tech, if they are far off. Older grandchildren will appreciate loving text messages, if they are not too frequent. Facebook and other social networking sites are also good for staying in touch with, teens, and young adult grandchildren. The bottom line is that loving grandparents will find a way to bridge the distance
Your Role Within the Family-
When grandparents who provide baby care to grandchildren have a greater than average opportunity to bond. However, most grandparents usually miss this important opportunity to establish bonds with grandkids, as they consider it more of an obligation. Taking responsibility of dropping kids to school, buying groceries, cooking food, managing house helps, care giving to younger siblings, financial assistance to their parents etc, raises your respect among grandchildren. They start seeing you as indispensable part of the family. And the assistance starts flowing in both the directions — from young to old, from old to young.
Reaching a Consensus on Values-
Researchers say a generation gap sometimes develops when younger generations find older generations lacking in social tolerance and even prone to hypocrisy. The new generation is more secular, more tolerant, minimalist, focused, and rational. They don’t follow societal rules blindly and are ready to question everything. Grandparents need to be more open in outlook and must not express their resentment openly. There is no need for grandparents to abandon their values and standards, but a willingness to listen to the younger generation can go a long way.
Children are closest to their parents and siblings. And the grandparents usually occupy their second circle or second tier of emotional proximity. As children grow, their circles enlarge, and their peers become vitally important to them. Grandparents may be further displaced.
Grandparents, on the other hand, often live in a world of shrinking circles, as their peers and older relatives die, move away, or suffer from serious health issues. Their children and grandchildren occupy a larger space in their lives. Grandparents, who have established bonds early in their life, such bonds usually survive the passage of years and the many changes that both generations go through.