While stories of the past will intrigue your youngsters, hearing how their grandparents grew up will help the kids see grandma and grandpa as more than just grownups. Whether grandparents keep it casual with short narratives or engage your children with formal, scheduled accounts of their youth, you can help the kids prepare questions for grandma and grandpa, provide them with a tape recorder and put together a memory book to create an heirloom keepsake that will last generations.
When grandparents sit down with their grandbabies and share photos of their own youth, taking a stroll down memory lane offers plenty of primo bonding time between children and grandparents. For older kids, encourage them to scan grandparents' old photos and create a slideshow to share with the entire family.
Grandparents may be hesitant to step on your parental toes, so coming up with new family traditions for children and grandparents to share will help ensure you carve out time for your kids to spend with grandma and grandpa. Whether it's Sunday brunch or a Friday movie night, traditions will open the floodgates for bonding with grandparents.
You may love spending time with your folks, but the sad truth is that you may be standing in the way of your children and their grandparents bonding. Considering leaving your kiddos with the grandparents for the afternoon without your meddling and watch their relationship blossom.
"It is very important to expose children to the opportunity to bond with their grandparents," explains Dr. Fran Walfish, child and family psychotherapist, author of The Self-Aware Parent. "When children feel loved by many it penetrates their self-esteem. The more quality people in a young growing child's life the more opportunity for the child to make a strong, healthy identification as well as open pathways for communication."
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