Investing Time in Your Grandchildren
Most grandparents enjoy spending time with their grandchildren during the early years. After all, holding babies, chasing toddlers and coloring with preschoolers can be easily achieved. When grandchildren get a bit older it can become more of a challenge in how to spend time with them and keep their interest.
Back in the day, when grandparents retired, they enjoyed spending time teaching their grandchildren life skills, going on trips during the summer and spending lazy afternoons visiting on front porches telling stories and sipping cold drinks. Our children of today are growing up on video games, too much television and computers. It can be pretty arduous for grandparents to compete with technology.
To make it more difficult, many grandparents have to continue to work long into their retirement years to make ends meet. Or they choose to keep themselves busy by working as long as they physically can, limiting time spent with their grandchildren. Even their adult children are busy occupying every hour with activities so there is less time for extended family.
By the time they know it, their grandchildren are older and finding activities to do with them isn’t as easy as it used to be in the early years. Investing time in your grandchildren as they get older does wonders for you and for them.
10 ways grandparents can spend time with their older grandchildren:
1. Have a date day/night one-on-one with each grandchild regularly. Do something they enjoy doing. Don’t just take them along on your errands, ask them what they would like to do and keep an open mind. You may learn something new yourself.
2. How about “take your grandchild to work day?” This may not be feasible in some lines of work. Even if it is only for a few minutes to see where grandpa/grandma work, can be a neat way for them to get to know “you.” Afterwards, go see a movie together at the local theatre.
3. Visit a museum. Many offer hands-on activities for older children to participate in.
4. Try a new restaurant together. Discussions about different foods can be a learning experience for older children. Sushi anyone? Dessert before dinner?
5. Teach them how to play board games. Some of the classics, like Monopoly, Chinese Checkers and even playing old-fashioned card games bring generations together. Make homemade snacks and sip cold drinks while playing.
6. Spend an afternoon in the kitchen making a traditional family recipe. Passing down family traditions can teach your grandchildren about their heritage. In addition, everyone should learn how to cook or bake something. You’re never too young or old to learn how to cook.
7. Go for a walk at a local park. Better yet, include some fishing, paddle boats, splash pads or swimming if available. Grandparents – PLAY WITH YOUR GRANDCHILDREN! Get dirty, get wet, laugh and have fun!
8. Take them shopping. Here is a wonderful opportunity to teach them about the value of a dollar and spending. To make an even bigger impact, have your grandchildren help you around the house to earn money to spend on your shopping adventure. There’s always yard work to be done. This could be planned out ahead of time.
9. Find local festivals, sporting events, food trucks, concerts, even plays which would introduce your grandchildren to a bit of culture.
10. Attend their sporting events and celebrate afterwards with ice cream or pizza. Take pictures and share at your next outing together.
It is important to begin investing time in your relationship with your grandchildren when they are young. Making time for them sends the message, “you are important and I enjoy your company.” Not only are you building the relationship with your grandchildren, but you’re also giving their parents much needed time for themselves.
Today’s children need, more than ever, to see their grandparents playing an active role in their lives. Grandparents, you can pass on wisdom, instruction and teachable moments better than anyone, because of your life experiences. Don’t assume that they will be bored or not interested. They’ll let you know and from there you can try other ideas. Another reason to establish early in their lives that spending time together with their grandparents can be fun. What a great investment in their future. An added bonus for you – it keeps your spirit young at heart.
Photo Credits: Dani
Tags: bonding, daily grandparent, grammie time, grandchildren, granddaughter, grandkids, grandma, grandmas, grandpa, grandpas, grandson, investing time, quality time, Spending Time, time with grandchildren, time with grandkids
Trackback from your site.
Michelle lives in North Carolina with her husband of 29 years. She is a mother to three grown daughters and “Grammie” to her two grandchildren. She teaches transitional kindergarten by day and blogs at Grammie Time by night. Spending time and making memories with her grandchildren is an investment she makes a priority.