Grandparents have a special role to play in the lives of their grandchildren. Having a close familial bond without the day-to-day responsibilities of parenting allows grandparents to form close relationships with their grandchildren based in quality time, play, and shared wonder.
Grandparenting is often seen as having all the benefits of parenthood with none of the drawbacks, and that’s not wrong! Parents have to require children to eat their veggies, while grandparents get to sneak sweets when the parents aren’t looking.
When grandchildren are young, quality time comes naturally since grandparents are often the first people parents turn to for babysitting services. As children get older and busier, with less need of supervision, it can be more difficult for grandma and grandpa to get quality time with their grandkids.
If you’re looking for ways to get more involved in your grandchildren’s lives, we have some suggestions.
As children get older, they start participating more and more in activities like sports, music lessons, and after school clubs. These activities fill up their schedules, making it harder to find quality time to spend together. But they also provide opportunities for you to get more involved in other areas of their lives by attending events like recitals, games, and performances.
Volunteer at School
Depending on the personalities of your grandchildren, this one may or may not go over well. But as long as your grandkids wouldn’t resist it, volunteering at school is a great way to not only help you feel more involved in their lives, but also add more community involvement into your life. Volunteering is an effective way for seniors to combat feelings of social isolation. Win-win!
If you have more than one grandchild, make an effort to spend quality one-on-one time with each of them. This will make them feel special and give you an opportunity to get to know their unique interests and quirks. When children are young, quality time is often a chaotic experience of trying to keep up with three or four little ones at once. A nice thing about kids growing older is that you can strengthen your bond with each grandchild by spending time getting to know them individually.
Weekly Video Chat
If you live far away from your children and their family, schedule a weekly video call dedicated to just talking with your grandchildren. Talking on the phone is a good option too, but there’s no substitute for face-to-face contact, especially when kids are growing and changing seemingly every day. Video chatting will help you stay in the loop about what your children are up to. With video, they can even demonstrate things they’re learning in sports or school activities—like dance moves or a new song on their instrument.
The relationship between grandparents and grandchildren is a special one, and while it can become more challenging to stay involved as kids get older, there are still many meaningful ways to nurture the bond.