In India where joint family system still exists, there are many of us who have had great memories of growing up with our grandparents. We were lucky enough to have them around to comfort and pamper us. We shared good times with our grandparents playing, reading books and listening to family stories and parables.
However, in the modern times, with the ever-increasing number of nuclear families and tight schedules, the distance in relationship has increased. Despite the growing tight schedule and physical distances it is important to maintain a closer bond with your kids and your parents.
The bond between the grand parent and the grandchild is very special and it is important to foster a close relationship between them. It has been proved that grandparents can have a very positive influence over the behavioral and social development of the child.
Ways to strengthen grandparent- grandchild connection:
If you live in a joint family you can leave your child under their care for a brief period. Staying alone with grandparents for sometimes increases the family bonding. If they stay away from you but at a driving distance it is advised to make frequent visits to meet them with your children to increase the bond. Invite grandparents too on holidays and weekends to spend time with the family.
If it is not possible to make frequent visits, anticipating and planning the next trip to meet your parents can help your child to regard that time as special.
Participate in special events
Invite your parents to participate in special events like birthday party, annual function or sports day in school. Grandparents love to see their grandchildren perform and children also feel proud to have them around.
It is important to place photographs of your parents in the room and point out to them very often. You can view your family album with your kids and page through it while; naming the family member.
If your parents stay far away and it is not possible to visit often call them regularly and encourage children to speak often.
Many grandparents have special skills such as cooking, paper quilting, painting etc and would love to pass it to their grandchildren. Younger and older children love to learn new things from their grandparents
If your child shows special interest in art, encourage them to make greeting card for special occasions like Grandparent’s day or a simple “I love you” card to make them feel happy and proud.
Establishing a bond between grandparents and kids can benefit the kids in many ways.
Encourages healthy development
A warm bonding with grandparents encourages child’s healthy development. Children who share a strong bonding with the grandparents have fewer behavioral problems and increases social skills.
Your parents can be great role models and spending quality time with them strengthens family values and children learn to share things and accept responsibility.
Grandparents provide unconditional love and always make their grandchild feel safe. Children gain additional support from them which increase their confidence.
They have a lot of spare time to spend and read books. Children love to hear stories of their family and grandparents love to share family stories with their grandchildren. Such dedicated attention helps to improve their learning skills and their overall development.
It takes immense efforts to maintain a close grandparent – grandchild relationship. Grandparents are an important part of every child’s life as they are good listeners and offer unconditional love. An affectionate and strong bond between the two can enhance the lives of both generations.