Some grandparents and their grandkids are thick as thieves. They get along well, and you never have to do anything to help keep them in touch. For others, however, there is a generational disconnect. Perhaps your grandparents live far away, or maybe they cannot live on their own and instead are in an assisted living situation.
No matter what, with the right planning and care, you can help your grandparents and grandkids foster a great relationship together. To help you get started, follow these steps:
Ensure Everyone Respects Each Other’s Boundaries
The best way for anyone to forge a relationship with another person is when their boundaries are respected. Your kids might not like hugs from people they aren’t (yet) close to, and your parents might not enjoy loud, hyperactive kids. It’s important to keep these things in mind and ensure that everyone knows the score. If your kids are as mindful as they can be, and the same goes for you and your parents, you will find the happy medium where a strong relationship can be formed.
Make Visits Regular
Visits should be regular, especially if your kids are young. This can be difficult if your parent or parents are in an assisted living situation, but many of the best options encourage family visits and can even be very fun for kids. For example, senior living St Louis can include many fun activities for your parents, including yoga, cooking workshops, dance classes, and more. A robust living environment like this is great for your parents, who can live full lives even when cared for, and is a great destination to bring your family when you come to visit.
You could, for example, schedule a Sunday brunch with your whole family so that your kids can regularly see their grandparents. You can schedule both visits and outings, and these are best done in advance, so make them regular!
Digital or In-person: Grandparents Should Be There for All Milestones
With the power of the internet, there is no excuse for grandparents not to be there for all the big milestones in your kids’ lives. The important thing to remember here is that even things that seem small, like a school play or celebrating as a family for a good report card, are big milestones for kids. If your parents cannot be there in person, get them up on a video chat. Simply being part of it is a great way to keep in the loop and keep them a consistent part of your kids’ lives.
Give Your Grandparents Alone Time with Your Kids
This can be hard if they live far away, but try to give your parents time to bond with their grandkids alone. If you are always there, then the power balance could make it hard for kids to form their own independent relationships with their grandparents, especially if it takes time. Sending them for sleepovers or having your parents make plans of their own with the grandkids is a great way to encourage a strong relationship between your kids and their grandparents.
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