Many people have cherished memories of spending time with their grandparents, and although, as teenagers, you might not have wanted to hang out with adults as much, they can still play an important role in your life. These bonds can help children and adolescents develop and forge these close bonds with family, but they are just as essential for grandparents as well. It isn’t always easy to find time to visit grandparents, particularly if they do not live nearby and parents are dealing with busy schedules, but below are some of the key reasons why these efforts should be made and how you can do more to spend quality time together.
Learning About the Family History
The world is full of interesting and amazing characters, and there are often a lot of fascinating stories that involve your ancestors that you might have never heard about. You can learn more about your family history by exploring your family tree with ancestry research, but grandparents can also be a brilliant source for this information. This can be a great thing for grandchildren to learn about, as this can highlight key pieces of their heritage and help them understand the family better. Sharing these stories can also be a nice experience for grandparents too, as it allows them to reflect on times and people in their lives that were special to them.
Advice and Guidance
There are always differences between generations, particularly as the world and society evolve and new issues are raised and discussed more openly than they were previously. Although this can sometimes be a point of conflict when it comes to differing opinions, it can also be a fantastic opportunity for these different groups to learn from each other. Grandparents can impart words of wisdom that their grandchildren might need to hear at different times while they are growing up, particularly when it comes to new experiences that perhaps their grandparents have already been through in their youth. Furthermore, grandchildren can offer the same to their grandparents, perhaps enlightening them or teaching them new things about the modern world as seen through their eyes.
Offering a New Sense of Purpose
Raising children is considered to be an incredible, life-affirming experience for a lot of people. It is certainly challenging and life-changing, but bringing new life into the world and watching them grow into adults is certainly unlike anything else. While grandparents may have done this already, spending time and supporting their grandchildren can offer them a new sense of purpose in their later years. Not only are they there to help their children out with things like childcare or parenting tips, but they are also playing an active role in the process of raising those children and being a reliable presence in their lives.
Mental Health Benefits
Although children can be a handful sometimes, there is no denying how much joy they can bring into your life. Spending time with their grandchildren can be an excellent way to boost their grandparents’ mental health and put a spring in their step. This is great for anyone, but particularly those who might live alone and enjoy the company their grandchildren offer them, or who could be dealing with other stressors and need a boost.
How Can You Make More Time for Grandparents and Grandchildren to See Each Other?
As mentioned previously, it isn’t always easy to find time for grandparents and their grandchildren to spend quality time together. This may be due to a packed schedule around school and other activities that your children are involved in, or your career could also be making this difficult as you are trying to balance it with your home life. However, there are things you can do to bring your children and their grandparents closer together, and here are some suggestions:
1. Schedule Video Calls with Them
An easier way to make sure your children connect with their grandparents more frequently is to utilize the technology you have at home. Schedule video calls on your smartphone or tablet can be the next best thing to a face-to-face conversation, and this can help to familiarize younger children with their grandparents more easily. Although it isn’t quite the same as spending quality time together in person, this can help grandparents stay more connected with their children and grandchildren, and this can be greatly beneficial for grandparents who might live alone as well.
2. Visiting Grandparents at Home as Often as Possible
It might not always be easy to travel to see grandparents, but it is likely easier for you to do this than it will be for them to reach your home, particularly if they have mobility struggles or other issues that can make travel difficult. If the grandparents in your family live in a care home, like this care home in Eastbourne, you could also make use of the facilities there to spend quality time together. For example, going to a restaurant for a family meal, or encouraging the grandchildren to take part in organized activities like arts and crafts with their grandparents.
3. Go on Family Holidays
Another great way to spend quality time together as a family is to enjoy some holidays together. Whether you choose to go for a week or a long weekend, this can be a great bonding experience for grandparents and grandchildren, and they might even be willing to babysit so parents can enjoy a night off while they’re away! This will be an excellent way to form new memories, and it could even become a new tradition that you enjoy once a year.
These are just a few ideas on how you can encourage your children to spend more time with their grandparents, and these experiences will be beneficial for them both. Bringing together ideas and experiences from both of these generations can be a great learning opportunity, as well as allowing them to develop lasting, safe relationships that can benefit them throughout life. If you haven’t been seeing your children’s grandparents as much recently, perhaps consider how you can make more time for them moving forward.