Spending time with grandparents is not only fun for our children, but the intergenerational contact offers a sense of continuity and belonging beyond the immediate family. Think for a moment of times spent with your own grandparents and the happiness, wisdom and life skills you gained.
Learning to tie a fishing lure or to knead Swedish sweetbread laced with hand-crushed cardamom seed, writing a poem for the first time, playing Scrabble and memorizing obscure words no one else knows, these are the lessons and memories grandparents provide.Whether grandparents live next door or miles away, here are some fun ideas to create traditions and build the grandchild-grandparent bond.
- Make a point of talking frequently about your child's grandparents. Telling about an adven-ture when Mom was young and drove the car for the first time with Grandpa creates vivid images for children.
- Include grandparents on weekend trips or summer vacation plans when the schedule and accommodations are suitable. Relaxed days at the seashore or by a lake provide opportunities for a grandparent to spend time alone with each grandchild. It could be as simple as playing a board game, taking a walk to collect and classify colorful fall leaves or going into town to see a movie together.
- Send grandparents artwork, photos, copies of special school assignments, jokes and riddles in the mail. If your family and the grandparents have home offices with fax machines and computers, stay in touch using modern technology.