In the olden days it was common for children to grow up surrounded by grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and siblings. Today we see many nuclear families living far away from other members of the family, primarily due to career considerations. Of all such relationships the most significant is the one of grandparents and grandchildren.
While physical distance becomes a big factor in fewer visits of children to their grandparents’ home or vice versa, there are ways in which you can encourage your children to stay connected with their grandparents.
- Place in your child’s room a framed picture of both sets of grandparents so that they become a part of his daily life. Tell him about where they live.
- Take a look at your photo albums regularly so that your child can remember his visits to their house. And instead of recounting a bed-time story, regale your child with incidents from your childhood involving the grandparents as well.
- Buy your child his own photo book with family pictures in it. He may want to look at the snaps in his room, car and anywhere, within easy reach.
- Have your child’s grandparents purchase some age-appropriate books and record them reading the book in their own voice. Give the books and the audiotape as a gift to your child.
- Have your child’s grandparents send a postcard or greeting card to your child. Children love to get mail, especially from grandma and grandpa!
- Let your child talk/listen on the phone from an early age so they can recognise their grandparents’ voices.
- If you are a video afficionado ask your child to prepare a home video when grandma and grandpa come visiting next.
- To keep the grandparents updated on your child’s development:
- Record videotapes of your child’s birthday, annual sports day, day at the beach and mail such events to the grandparents. They want to stay abreast with the latest happenings in their grandchild’s life.
- Send handprint gifts like flowerpots, napkin holders or even just handprint/footprint pictures like a butterfly and ghost so that they can see how much their grandchild has grown.
- Also send paintings, drawings, coloured pictures and cards carrying a handprint on the page.
- If your child has received a gift from a grandparent, let him send a thank you card. He may be only two years old but he can surely colour or paint a picture! He supplies the art, you supply the words – for now anyway.
- Of course, send photos regularly.With such connectivity, is it any wonder that the bond between grandparents and grandchildren should grow strong.