Being a grandparent is such a special thing, but often times grandparents miss connecting with their grandchildren too due to distance, whether physical or emotional. There are certain proactive things you can do to encourage healthy, growing relationships between your kids and grandparents.
Sometimes it seems as though technology has taken over our lives – iPads, iPhones, smart devices and TVs are all around us. This is actually great news, though, for those families that are separated by several miles. FaceTime and Skype are wonderful things and should be taken advantage of regularly for children and grandparents who don’t physically see each other as often as they would like. Keep a standing FaceTime call for a few times a week (or whatever is appropriate for your situation) and stick to it. Your child will grow to love and cherish this time, and it will make it much easier on him or her the next time that they’re face to face with their grandparents.
Customize Family Books
For children under the age of three, having a flip book with grandma and grandpa’s pictures and a little narration on who they are and how much they love their grandchild will go a long way. Read this book to your little one every night before bed to remind them of those who love them, even if they can’t see them physically there.
Arrange Regular Visits and Dates
If distance isn’t an obstacle, consider lining up a standing “date night” for grandparents and grandchildren. Feel free to give each child one-on-one time with their grandparents, rather than sending all children at one time. As a bonus, this will, in turn, give you some time with each of your kids as well. The one on one time with their grandparents will be a highlight for them and will be something that they grow to expect and look forward to, if executed consistently.
Give Them a Tradition to Start
Children love traditions. When they start with a tradition early on in life, it becomes engraved in their hearts as something that they’ll always grow to treasure. A grandpa who enjoys tinkering on old trucks should invite his grandchild to participate with him, and even give him little tasks to do to “help.” A grandmother who loves to bake can make a tradition of baking a new cake with her little one every time they get together. These traditions will invite some great quality time between grandchild and grandparent, and will grow to be a very special time in the hearts of both.
Grandparents and grandchildren have very special relationships when nurtured and cared for. Give them a tradition to start, arrange regular dates and visits, customize family books and embrace technology, and that relationship will grow quickly over time.