The bond between a child and their grandparents can be one of the most rewarding, fulfilling, and important in their development as they grow up. Grandparents lend a link to the past, to a history a child might never otherwise know, while also bringing almost sage-like wisdom to parenting, having been parents themselves and lived the whole process already.
Most grandparents also tend to dote on their grandkids, which can also lend another layer to the love, care, and attention your little one so needs in their early years (and beyond). Presuming your child’s grandparents are still alive, you should try to find ways to encourage this bond to develop – and below are just a few ideas on how to do this.
Hold a regular weekly family dinner
If you’re fortunate enough to have your child’s grandparents living close by, try hosting a regular weekly family dinner (perhaps on a Sunday) to facilitate the bonding process. Most psychologists agree that bonding is far quicker and far easier if it’s done regularly and in proximity. If this isn’t possible – maybe because the grandparents live far away – try using technology instead to build the bond.
These days it’s easier than ever to stay in touch, and making a regular video conferencing call will still give your child and their grandparents the chance to keep in touch with each other more regularly – even if it’s through a screen.
Visit – no matter what
If there comes a time when the grandparent needs to move homes because they require extra care or assistance, choosing facilities that keep the family involved and facilitate visitors is an excellent idea – like this senior living St. Marshfield, Wisconsin as a good example. This will ensure your child and their grandparent can continue to spend quality time together and build bonds.
Talk to your child about the importance of its grandparents
A child’s mind is like a sponge, and the more you talk about their grandparents, the more they will come to quickly realize their importance. Instill positivity surrounding their grandparents from a young age, which will teach your child to love and respect these golden oldies in their lives and appreciate how fortunate they are to have grandparents who love them.
Offer encouragement to both parties
Your child will likely be curious about everything and everyone. However, the same does not necessarily apply the other way around. While most grandparents fit naturally and excitedly into the role, for some, it might be quite stressful trying to remember how to deal with young kids. By offering encouragement on both sides, you’ll help foster the relationship.
Keep regular contact and organize as much interaction as possible
The term ‘grandparent’ often conjures up images of elderly retired people, but the truth is, many grandparents are still busy working full-time jobs with their responsibilities and social lives to contend with.
Rather than just assuming they’ll make the time to come visit, the onus lies with you to find ways to increase their interaction as much as possible. This could be anything from inviting them to dinner to asking if they’re available to babysit at certain times or checking if they want to take part in activities or events.
Of course, this will all be much easier if the child’s grandparents live locally but, even if not, you should try inviting them to stay for holidays, etc. Also, try using tech to send regular photos or make videos of your child playing to let distant grandparents see their grandchild’s progress.