According to many, the happiest memories they have as adults are of time spent with their grandparents. As a grandma or grandad you have the unique opportunity to spend positive time with someone you love and who loves you back unconditionally
Notice the important word. It is “time.” You have already mastered the parent-child relationship, one that you got through with all kinds of ups and downs, tons of responsibilities, a zillion schedules, and hundreds of tasks to attend to all at the same time. Now you have a new kind of adult-child relationship with just some ups and downs, few or no responsibilities, hardly any schedules and not too many tasks. Better yet, this one comes with something even more special, the gift of “time.”
In reference to this “gift,” there are wonderful outings to go on together like to aquariums, museums and parks. However, please do not stop there. You will probably be able to find many more fun programs, interesting classes, educational activities, and amazing special events. Here’s a good hint. Don’t forget to check out your local children’s museum, always a place for family fun. Grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins all have special roles to play in the lives of their children. Each one is uniquely beneficial in its own way.
Here is a new twist. The grandparent role is especially loving and plays a major part in helping children develop security and confidence. Children who grow up with much exposure to this kind of love are the ones who are most likely to experience both success in school and in life. Inner strength, bonding, connectedness, and the ability to interact well with others are more characteristics that tend to develop from being able to experience this special kind of relationship.
Are you expecting a young visitor soon? If so, a world of shared experiences awaits you. Any outing you choose can be wonderful, but here is the secret to remember. “Play is a child’s work, and toys are the tools.” Real play often includes making the toys or enjoying interactions with no toys at all. Think back about some of the childhood games that you played. Here are a few to get you started: Simon Says, Mother May I, Spud, Hide-and-Seek, Dots, Battleships, Hang Man, 20 Questions, GHOST, Red Light Green Light, Hop Scotch, Jump Rope, Catch, and Catch Cradle. The list goes on. My guess is that you have your favorites.
Take every opportunity you can to hug, hold, play with, and smile at your grandchildren. Those four actions will mean more to them than anything else you can do. In addition, your grandchildren will reap the rewards of this “special gift of love” for many years to come. No computer, TV, cell phone or screen of any kind can take your place. There is no place like home, your “grand-home.”
I wish you and your grandchildren every opportunity for great times together.
Parent or grandparent questions? ASK DR. SALLY is a new program to serve parents and grandparents in the most up-to-date way. Visit Dr. Sally for Q & A at two on-line locations: earlychildhoodnews.net and readtokids.us. Contact her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.