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The Third Generation Connection
Written By : SeniorsList 
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Here is one feature of being a grandparent that most grandparents would agree on: It’s a lot more fun than being the parent! Grandparents are the ones who get to sneak a late night piece of candy or stay up just a bit past bedtime to finish watching a movie with their little darlings. Being a grandparent is also your chance to make sure that your grandson or granddaughter feels a connection both with you and to his or her family’s history.

The third generation connection that you nurture between yourself and your grandchildren will help to ensure that they will always feel a part of something. They will have the blessing of knowing where they came from, that they were wanted and that they were loved.

When you, as a grandparent, take the time to strengthen a bond with your grandchildren, you give them a gift that is far greater than the immediate satisfaction of a fun time with grandma or grandpa. You give them a sense of confidence and security that cannot be taken away.

Here are some tips for establishing a third generation connection.

Routines and Traditions

It is important that you become an integral part of your grandkids lives. The best way to do this is by establishing routines and traditions. Granted, this is much easier if you live close to them. Even if you are hundreds of miles away you can still establish routines by calling the same time each night or each week. Technology makes it easier than ever to connect via Webcam, so they can actually see your smile and hear your voice.

Traditions for out of town grandparents may include flying in each year at the end of school and for any major special occasions, such as birthdays, formal dances or his or her first date.

The key is being there. By being present in their lives you will establish the desired connection.

Life Gifts

Life gifts are items that will take years to assemble and that will presented to your grandchild upon graduation from high school, college or on his or her wedding day. One idea is a “Today I thought…” journal. You don’t need to write in it every day, but should add your thoughts on the grandchild’s birthdays, after spending a special day together or anytime you are especially proud of them. Include details of the day so that, years later when they read it, they may remember as well.

Another idea is to create a quilt using clothing from each year of his or her life. Starting with baby clothes, collect one item of your grandchild’s clothing per year and then use those items to create a quilt that can be presented when the time is right.

Family History Tour

If possible, take your grandchild on a family history tour. Show them where you grew up, where your parents grew up and where you raised your children. Show them the schools you attended, where you held your first job and the first place that you pushed them in their strollers.

Try to tell the story of your family through this tour. You can also take a similar tour via photos, family letters and other documents if it is not possible to take the entire tour in person.

Having a third generation connection can help your grandchild better understand his or her place in the world and give them a sense of family that is deeper and more meaningful than they could ever achieve without it.

Copyright © 2012

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