Do you live far from your family but want to ensure your child has a close relationship with their grandparents? Here are top tips for bonding with grandparents (plus plenty of advice for in-person fun, too!)
Some of my sweetest memories of childhood are at my Grandma’s house in India. She was the only living grandparent I had and living in close proximity gave me plenty of opportunities to meet her for long weekends and holidays. I was the apple of her eye. I still remember my story times with her and the taste of the sweets and pickles she would make for me.
Being an expat mom in Singapore, I always wanted my son to build strong memories with his grandparents. Long distance grandparenting is challenging, but I love seeing the quality time our 3-year-old spends with our parents. Their patience and boundless love help him learn about our culture and family in fun ways.
Whether kids see their grandparents on a regular basis or only during infrequent visits, there are lots of ways for them to stay connected and involved in each other’s lives.
Read on for my 5 tips for developing a bond between kids and grandparents…
Lead image via Getty
Our son, Aatman does a lot of his story times over video calls and makes the most of it when he meets his grandparents in person. Bedtime stories on a WhatsApp call from Grandpa are one of his favorites. He loves to hear stories from Panchatantra and Aesop’s Fables and requests for a story-based recap of his own experiences with them: “Aatman in the playground,” “Aatman in the bus,” and like. He also loves to see hand and finger puppets.
We have showed pictures of our parents to our son from the time he was a baby, and explained to him his grandparents’ relationship to us and special place in our family. He associates the feeling of security and love outside the home with grandparents, and this naturally grown to a bond of trust.
Planning a holiday with grandparents is really special for Aatman. He thoroughly enjoys this relaxed time with grandparents. Our parents are never tired of pushing the pram, feeding him, singing with him, playing or just running around with him. Its lovely to see the warmth between them. During these trips our son also picks up new words in vernacular languages.
Receiving gifts from Grandma and Grandpa is the best! Grandparents shower their grandchildren with tokens of love and blessings. New clothes for festivals (pictured above!), delicious goodies, toys, and books are some of the things that he associates with grandparents and it etches fond memories in his heart.
Enjoying holidays with grandparents and being thoroughly pampered all the time is usually a hit with kids. Here are some of our favourite activities:
- Cooking time: They enjoy baking cakes and cookies, having traditional food, pickles and desserts. He definitely gets spoiled with knick-knacks, chocolates and ice creams!
- Prayer time: At my parents’ house, puja is done regularly morning and evening and Aatman eagerly awaits to get his puja sweets from his grandpa. As a byproduct of this activity, he has learnt to recite Sanskrit slokas and prayer songs!
- Parks, playgrounds and outdoor play: Grandpa is always ready to take him to the park or walk any time of the day or evening. Be it the swing or the slide, they are his favorite playmates in the park.
- Family functions: Grandparents love introducing (and showing off!) their favorite juniors to other members of the family and can tell umpteen stories about them all day long.
Watching our parents enjoy time with our toddler is one of the most heartwarming experience for us. Positive bonding between a child and grandparents has great impact on a child’s life. Grandparents also highly value the attention they receive from their grandchildren. Additionally, reading, playing games or doing activities together can keep both kids’ and grandparents’ brains strong and healthy. For parents it’s a lovely feeling to watch their most loved people bond. And it can definitely be a nice little break!