Grandparents are getting younger and younger. I was a grandmother at the ripe old age of 47, for example. And even though most people don’t become grandparents until they are in their 50s or 60s, active lifestyles mean we aren’t aging in the same way, and this is having a fundamental impact on our grandparent connection.
It is fair to say that grandparents are now fitter, healthier and more proactive in their grandkids’ lives. We ‘oldies’ are anything but old! We love life: we volunteer, create, write, and many of us are technically savvy, spending hours on the internet and our smartphones.
There is one more thing, however, which can really enrich your life as a grandparent. Spending quality time with your grandkids can help you find a greater purpose, and remind you of what is important in your life. It can also give your life a spark.
Spend More Time Together
Spending one-on-one time with your grandkids is a great way to connect and build a deeper relationship with them. These times can be short and easy to arrange. You might go for a walk to the park together or share a book.
Truth is, it doesn’t matter how you spend time as long as you do.
If you live a long way from your grandkids, utilize voice or video calls on a regular basis. It only takes a few minutes to reach out, and connect with them. It is surprising how impactful hearing their voice can be.
Be a Role Model
You want your grandkids to grow and be the best people they can. You want them to share your values such as empathy, kindness and generosity. While you can teach your grandkids how important they are, a better approach would be to show them.
Don’t get mad at another driver for cutting you off if your grandkids are in the car. Don’t yell at the television when that annoying politician comes on. If something bad happens, show your grandkids the best approach. You can always yell at the TV when they’ve gone home.
Get Out, and Get Dirty!
Don’t send your grandkids out to play, go out with them. One of the reasons I keep fit is so I can keep up with my grandkids when they come to visit.
Shoot some hoops or play hide and seek. Draw and paint together, share a book or get out in that sandpit and build a castle!
Involve Grandkids in Everyday Activities
Despite their constant opposition, children do like to help out with the day-to-day care of running a home. What you ask your grandkids to do will depend on their age and capabilities, of course. However, there are many chores where they can lend a hand.
You might bathe the dog together or do the laundry. They could help fix that leaky faucet or dry the dishes.
When we work together we connect on many levels. Your grandkids will be spending valuable time in your company, learning from you and becoming more confident in themselves as they tackle things they may never have done before.
And, you will find that your generosity is repaid as you feel a deeper connection that energizes you and gives you back your spark.