Helping Stay Connected to Grandparents

September 13th is National Grandparent’s Day. We’ve learned just about everything we know from our parents. So shouldn’t our kids too? When thinking of childhood memories, a special connection to grandparents comes to mind. Whether they picked us up early from school or snuck us a cookie underneath the table, they have a special place in our hearts. Recent studies have shown that the relationship between grandparent and child is the second emotional, important relationship (the first being the parent and child). Grandparents are the foundation of the family and symbolize traditions, culture and family history. Whether your child sees their grandparents every day or less frequently, it is important to nurture their relationship. Here are some suggestions for your parents and in-laws to maintain a long-lasting relationship if they live near or far.

  • Be involved in school. This could simply be picking them up from school some afternoons or bringing classroom supplies for a teacher.

  • Take them on a road trip! Create some lasting memories by taking them to the county fair, a nearby theme park or even for a long drive.

  • Listen to what the child wants. If they want you to push them on the swings, plan a play date on the playground.

  • Do unexpected things. Cook pancakes for dinner or build a fort in the house.

  • Establish some traditions. Every birthday or holiday, take a picture. Keep the tradition by comparing them to the previous time.

  • Share some of your own experiences and interests. Help establish a stronger bond by showing your grandchild what you enjoy doing in your spare time.

  • Do some messy arts and crafts. Mix in, hands-on-play like PlayDough.

  • Take them back to when you where a kid. Introduce old-fashioned card games from your own childhood like “Go Fish” or “Old Maid.”

  • Call regularly. Make sure it’s on the same day and time. Prepare yourself. Learn their friend’s names, favorite activities and television shows, so you can ask about them.

  • Skype or FaceTime! Staying connected is easier than ever with technology. Try video chatting or even sending photos via email.

  • Send a letter. Yes, a snail mail, actual letter. Add stickers, cool stamps, and maybe even include a specialized award.