Children provide a new phase in life. This not only applies to parents, but also to newly released grandparents.
Suddenly, they are assigned a new role that they will fulfill throughout their lives. The arrival of a grandson brings much joy, a new generation is added to his family.
The relationship between grandparents/grandchildren is very important since the transcendent role of grandparents and children in the family is well known. Science now confirms the need to foster these relationships for the benefit of all, since the beneficial psychological effects are real and measurable.
Frequency of contact
In Hispanic culture, grandparents are revered. They are the ones that preserve traditions and stories. They are like a connection with our past. For some, they also play a fundamental role in everyday life. And if you live abroad, one of the reasons why your child speaks the mother tongue fluently is because he has the opportunity to be with his grandparents on a daily basis.
Grandparents who remain in frequent contact with their grandchildren have closer relationships, but sometimes physical distance is not the only obstacle to contact. Parental divorce commonly has a dramatic effect on contact between grandchildren and grandparents.
When children visit their grandparents it is advisable to organize activities together, and with more reason, if these visits are repeated on a daily basis. Depending on the place and the time of the year, fun and entertaining activities can be organized so that they can do together.
By sharing things that grandparents love to empathize with your grandchildren, and this can create a very close relationship between them. Whether they live far from their grandchildren or close, trying to maintain regular contact, talk about your experiences and make plans together is essential for the relationship. This can be a simple game, make jokes or anything else you both like.
Communication with no rush.
As grandparents, they have a different role with their grandson than that of parents. They may no longer work, do not have schedules and activities as strict as having to have dinner on time or do laundry for the whole family. Their life is usually a little quieter than that of young parents and, therefore, they have more time and in some moments, more patience. The grandchildren will realize this and so they can start conversations, tell their stories, also talk about school, being able to express their feelings, precisely because they have all the time to listen to them. This creates a genuine bond of trust that will last for the rest of your life.
Hobbies and activities
If they spend time with their grandchildren, it is good to motivate them to talk about hobbies and activities that children like best. This is a great way to learn from each other. Sometimes there are activities in which as usual, grandchildren are not interested. Think of things like knitting or a TV show for example. They see it as an activity they do only with grandparents. That is why it is important to seek a true mutual interest.
As we have said, it is fantastic that grandparents and grandchildren spend time together, as it gives parents a break and allows grandparents to spend quality time with their grandchildren.
Today they can be found far removed from the tastes and hobbies of their grandchildren. In the digital era, the tablet and the smartphone have gained ground to the conventional toys of the little ones, and many grandparents tend to be excluded from the leisure moments of their grandchildren. However, there are many options for adults and children to enjoy together and even learn from each other, preventing the digital divide from further away.
We give you some ideas about different activities that grandparents and grandchildren can do together, which will not only be fun but will also create memories that no one will forget.
Visit the local natural park
This outdoor activity that grandchildren will love, is to visit a local natural park or simply go to a forest on the outskirts of the city where they can play without danger and so many restrictions, also combining the energetic walk with the observation of life wild.
Some of the most important childhood memories of children are with grandparents fishing, collecting fun things like rocks, watching wildlife and eating lunch outdoors.
Have a picnic
Picnics are an activity in which grandparents and grandchildren have a lot of fun. They help prepare your food and all other things in the picnic basket. They can bring books and group games to do activities, and they can plan to play later in the surroundings. Those grandparents with mobility problems can picnic in their garden or terrace, for example, to save walking a long distance to the park.
If you are lucky enough to have a garden or an orchard, being able to take care of it next to the grandchildren will be doubly pleasurable. Children love being with the earth, staining, cutting leaves, and seeing how the tree he planted is growing little by little. In this way, while helping, he remains active and learns to respect the environment.
If they do not have a garden, they can create a small home garden or simply germinate seeds or legumes.
They enjoy digging the earth and grandparents can teach them about plants and how real foods grow. And if you have the opportunity, it would be great to be able to apply this activity with the next one that is cooking, being able to teach children where many of the foods we consume come from. Nowadays, many children are asked about where a banana or an apple comes from and their answer is probably from the supermarket.
Cooking and baking with grandchildren is a transcendent activity since they can not only learn to cook, but they will also have a lot of fun when participating, depending on the age they can obviously do it in one way or another.
It’s wonderful that they can share family recipes and chat about family history at the same time. Grandparents have time to help and teach their grandchildren to cook, but they are also often much calmer and have some wonderful skills and recipes to pass on to the younger generation.
You will surely be surprised at how he likes to have “hands in the dough.” It is very gratifying for a child to cook something he likes, such as a cake or some cookies, and then eat it. In addition to being proud of its results, you will learn hygiene, safety and a series of culinary skills (weight, measurements, time control) that you can apply in other areas of your life. Depending on the age of the child may intervene more or less, but simply mixing the ingredients and being at your side following the recipe will make you involved in the preparation.
Mind games such as playing cards or a board game
Playing cards or a board game has always been a very special game between grandparents and grandchildren and is a very good way to keep grandchildren entertained while learning math for example. Other options may be:
Making a puzzle: it is a perfect game at any age because they can choose the degree of difficulty. Assembling a puzzle, visual memory and motor skills are exercised, and concentration and spatial skills are favored.
Playing chess, ladies, dominoes: they are strategy games that require a lot of concentration and decision making, which stimulates the child’s autonomy.
Make crossword puzzles, word searches, sudokus: with these games, in addition to promoting their mental development, the knowledge they acquire in language and math classes is enhanced. For more advanced levels they can be done in another language, provided that the grandparents master it, so they can help you complete it.
Practice various activities with a deck of cards: with them, there is not only the option to play the typical games, but you can devise a different “Who is who”, or another modality with which memory is exercised.
Tell stories about in the past and make a family tree
Stories about the past also create a good relationship with the grandson. Grandparents talk about your own life experiences. These can be memories of beautiful moments, but also of less fun things they have experienced. Through his stories, the grandson learns about family histories, such as his dad or his little mom, watching photos and chatting. Grandparents often transfer their values in this way.
Making a family tree is another great indoor activity that must be taken into account, since not only will it be interesting for older grandchildren as they grow up, but it can also be fun for kids.
Grandparents are in a unique position to convey the family history and root stability, so they can help build a family tree and tell their grandchildren about their relatives and great grandparents. And, who better than grandparents to convey the family history and stories of how his son and daughter-in-law met, or what his grandson looked like when he was born.
Especially in the winter months, when the weather is variable, grandparents should think of activities that are excellent for the interior and one of the best activities besides cards and board games is drawing.
It is an activity that likes and is beneficial to both young and old. You still don’t know the mandalas? They can try to draw one while the grandson colors his drawings; When they finish, they can chat about the creations and comment on why they have used certain colors, or what they like best about drawing. This moment of tranquility together with the grandchildren will bring benefits to both.
In conclusion, grandparents can be a support and company for their grandchildren and vice versa. So it is very important to maintain a relationship as fluid as possible with the grandson, have regular contact, really pay attention to their needs and also share things, even if they do not live nearby, always maintain regular contact to be able to share their daily lives. This is the basis for a good relationship.
When grandparents provide childcare for their grandchildren or become real parents or substitutes for their grandchildren, they have a greater than average chance to establish ties. However, many grandparents who fulfill these roles want to be “normal” grandparents instead of having to fulfill the functions of parents. Therefore, it is also important to respect the independence of the grandparents even if they live in the same house.
For things to occur harmoniously, they must always be in their proper measure, giving each other space to be able to make use of their independence.
All the information that we give you in this article is for orientation since each child and each family is different and unique.
Carolina González Ramos
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