One of the milestones and pleasure of getting older is being a grandparent. The joys of being grandparents cannot be discounted. Besides providing expanded support and encouragement to our grandchildren with the use of our breadth of experience as parents, grandparenting gives us the opportunity to see the world through younger eyes, hear and experience our grandchildren’s music, be able to play again and appreciate the magic of developing minds. Many grandparents report that they find greater satisfaction in their grandchildren than they did with their own children because the pressures of parenthood then weighed heavily upon them and made quality time scarce and limited.
To enjoy the blessings of grandparenting, here are some tips and some activities to do with your grandchildren:
1. Be there at the grandchild’s birth. This is a monumental moment.
2. Do not play favorites. Spend as much time alone with your grandchild as possible. With multiple grandchildren, give each their “one-on-one” time.
3. Be part of your grandchild’s life. Remember birthdays, holidays and special moments.
4. When making plans or decisions, always check with the parents first. Remember they are the primary parents and you are just a “back-up.”
5. Go outside. Children love wonderful adventures on the beach, a walk on the park, watching movies and plays, attending concerts, visiting science centers and museums.
6. Take a day trip to a national park, a weekend in a nearby city, or a week long trip to your favorite destination. These are moments that will always be cherished and remembered.
7. Play games. Games also allow you to help your grandchild learn to be a good sport and play fairly.
8. Share your interests. Engaging in hobbies and activities that you love or your grandchild loves can be a great way to spend time together and learn about each other.
9. Be a role model. A good relationship with your grandchild and his or her parents will set the stage for the time when they “move up” the generational ladder themselves.
Today, millions of American families are separated by distances that are too vast to make day-to-day grandparenting possible. Thanks to the advancement of technology, grandparents and grandchildren can stay connected through the internet. A grandmother we know gave all of her grandchildren fax machines so they could keep in touch on a daily basis while other grandmas send love notes through the postal mail and use the telephone to keep posted and connected with their grandchildren.
Lately, step-grandparenting has grown as a family phenomenon due to the growing number of blended families. Though it is a complex kind of relationship, many have successfully managed to bring a beautiful union through patience and perseverance.