There are more than 56 million grandparents in the United States, some living in close proximity to their extended family while some live far away. No matter the distance, families who believe that building strong bonds between grandparents and grandchildren are important look for various opportunities to create strong relationships between the generations. Relationships between grandchildren and their grandparents can be quite advantageous to both the child and the adult. With today’s technology, the opportunity for grandparents and their grandchildren to establish strong, long-lasting bonds is greater than ever; even when distance is a factor.
With all the hustle and bustle that goes on in many of today’s families, grandparents generally provide stability, calmness, a sense of balance. Their role in family life may boost a child’s confidence and sense of security while providing the child an opportunity to interact with role models that can walk them through many of life’s lessons. Grandchildren will have an opportunity to learn about their heritage, traditions and family history through their grandparents eyes; bringing the two closer together. When children are able to see pictures and hear stories about their families past, it can give them an incomparable look on the fast paced lifestyles of today.
A child’s physical, emotional and intellectual development may be influenced by the life experiences of their grandparent’s. Sharing activities with their grandparents will not only spark newfound interests in a child, it may also serve to instill fond memories of time shared with them. Spending quality time and having regular contact with grandchildren can also be a very helpful to a grandparent. Time spent with their grandchildren can take their minds off of worrisome issues such as health finances or even grief. Because of the spirit of youth and energy a child provides, grandparents are often uplifted simply by being in their presence.
For grandparents who may be sickly, disabled or living far away, it is important for parents to be involved with helping to strengthen these relationships. Displaying pictures of grandparents and great-grandparents is sure to encourage conversation. Listening to stories and discussing relatives is a great way for children to learn about their family even in the event their grandparents are not always around. Sometimes it may take constructive effort on the parents’ part to schedule regular visits as both children and grandparents alike will enjoy this time together.
As grandparents are continuously learning how to bond and finding new ways to strengthen relationships with their grandchildren, it is important that parents provide the necessary support to ensure this bond grows and remains intact as it will prove to be quite important to the child and grandparent. In the event that a grandparent has been absent for a period of time, it is important for them to understand it’s never too late for to start building a positive relationship with their grandchildren.
Just remember, there is no one way for a grandparent to bond with a grandchild or to enhance the relationship between the two. What is most important is spending quality time together and building memories that will undoubtedly last a lifetime.
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