For your child, a grandma and a grandpa symbolize love, comfort and family. Whether it’s story time on grandpa’s lap or gardening with grandma, children can’t wait to spend time with their grandparents. Speaking from a personal perspective, I have to add that grandparents cherish the time they get to share with their grandchildren. As your child grows, it is important to find ways to include grandparents in your child’s life. Ask them to share stories about your family’s history, or to attend after-school activities like soccer games and ballet recitals. This special time with grandma and grandpa are memories your child will have forever.
More and more grandparents are not yet retired but would still enjoy visiting your child’s classroom. Grandparents can share talents, knowledge and a special friendship with the children during their time in the classroom. If grandma and grandpa don’t live close enough for classroom visits, letters from them can be shared with the class. At home, regularly scheduled communication will help grandparents keep up with the rapid changes in your child’s life until they can have a real visit.
Here are some easy ways to include grandparents in your child’s life:
Make it visual. Set up a time every week for your child to see his grandparents in person or over video conference. With the advancement of video technology, physical distance is no longer an issue for visual communication. These face-to-face conversations will make your child feel like his grandma and grandpa are in the same room with him. With so many options available—Skype, FaceTime, Google+ and Facebook Video Calling—using video conference is easy and convenient for all of you.
Write it out. Let your child send emails or letters back and forth with her grandparents. Just sharing the events of the day make a great story for grandparents. You might start by having your child dictate while you type. Just watching you will make her want to try typing her own messages soon. Remember to include photos and attach videos so that memories can be shared and saved.
Set a date. Encourage grandparents to make in-person visits to your child’s school. Whether these visits are once a year or once a month, planning ahead and setting dates will give your child and his grandparents something to look forward to. Visiting the school will give grandma and grandpa a better idea of the everyday events and people in your child’s life, which means they will have even more to talk about.
However your family chooses to spend time with grandparents, plan something special for grandma and grandpa that will build a family memory. The bond grandparents have with their grandchildren is very special and fostering this relationship is important for your child’s development and appreciation for family. Whether they live far away or just down the street, grandparents are always close to your child’s heart.