Yes, going through the so-called “terrible twos” and “trying threes” can be stressful, but grandma’s cookies and milk and hugs can usually bring a smile to a child’s face that is priceless.
Grandparents frequently fill the gaps and do their share of parenting when mom and dad want (or need) some time alone. Together with your son or daughter come up with a plan for staying connected with your grandchildren. Try to be present in their lives often. If you live far away call them regularly. Better yet, use online video chatting so you can be seen and heard. You may even need to learn how to text. Kids grow up fast; blink once and you may miss it.
Five simple ways to keep your grandchild’s attention and have some fun together:
Fun stuff. Kids love going places and doing stuff and it never gets old! Go for a drive, take a train ride, and tell lots of stories! Use our calendar of events for ideas to create some memories.
Board games. Don’t let video games replace good old-fashioned board game fun. Playing games is an easy and excellent way to spend unhurried, enjoyable time together.
Favorite pastime. If you have a hobby or a talent, share it with your grandchildren. If it’s cooking, bake something together. If you like to fix-up cars, show them some things you’ve worked on. If you’re into knitting, show them how it’s done. This will illustrate the importance of a hobby and teamwork.
Family history. Share some old family photos and memories. The ones of their mother or father growing up are sure to make an impression on them. Have your grandchild pick out a photo they like, and get it printed on a t-shirt with a cute slogan for them to surprise their parents.
Transport them. Children will have lessons, practices, and games to attend. Offer to take them, time in the car is valuable time to connect. As well, offer to help them practice in between lessons and make sure to put the recital on your calendar.
The impetus for a National Grandparents Day originated with Marian McQuade, a housewife in Fayette County, WV. Her primary motivation was to champion the cause of lonely elderly in nursing homes. She also hoped to persuade grandchildren to tap the wisdom and heritage their grandparents could provide. President Jimmy Carter, in 1978, proclaimed that National Grandparents Day would be celebrated every year on the first Sunday after Labor Day.