How to be a Grandparent with Pizazz!
Do you want to be a better grandparent?
My 10 Top Tips For Building A Positive Relationship With Your Grandchildren
“The children now love luxury
They have bad manners, contempt for authority,
show disrespect for elders and
love chatter in place of exercise”
Have Things Changed?
As a grandparent does this quote resonate with you? I mean we love our grandchildren to bits but sometimes it’s hard to find common ground. Right? With extended families, often miles apart, its almost as if we have to re-establish our grandparent relationship every time we meet. And, in case you were wondering where that quote came from it’s Socrates, circa BC 800
So, if you despair of competing with the trappings of technology remember, it’s nothing personal. It’s the 21st century and we are part of it. Whether we like it or not! If you think back to your young years you will come up with a memory that isn’t too dissimilar. In my case it was straightening my curly hair so I had a Beatle hair cut!
“If you despair of competing with the trappings of technology remember, it’s nothing personal.”
Age of course (there’s not ours) has a lot to do with how we approach this problem. It’s easy when they’re babies. You can read a book, shake a rattle or make a funny face and they will reward you with a smile that will melt your heart every time. However, it’s not so easy when the competition comes in the form of technology. Building a relationship with our techno grand children thats more meaningful than, “How’s school going?” needs to be a positive experience for everyone .
I’ve brain stormed different types of activities so that you get the idea that the opportunities are limitless. Not all of them will fit your skills but I’m sure you will come up with just as many and I will add them to the list if you’d like to share in Comments
There’s no getting a way from it and where you start depends on how savvy you are with technology. Being retired certainly gives you’re the time to brush up on your skills but if it’s not your forte you can always ask for their help. We all like feeling needed! Let them show you how to make a Facebook, Snapchat or Skype. If your grandchildren don’t live close by then having different options of how to say in touch is essential. I use Pandora and Spotify to keep up to date with the music my grandchildren are listening to. That way when we do meet up I can throw a bit of “Love that new Husky Busky” group!
2. Get Outside
Here’s the opportunity for the grandchildren to return the favour! Ask for their help in some outside activity. Make it fun though weeding probably won’t engage them for long. Painting a fence can be a boring job on your own but add a couple of kids to the mix (figuratively) and it takes on a whole new dimension. Perhaps you could add some of that new funky music you’ve discovered!
3. Take a Fresh Look
Sometimes being retired means that you get out of the habit of looking for new things to do in your local area I recently spent sometime in Dunedin (NZ) where my daughter took me on an art treasure hunt. Local and invited artists have used the environment for street art graffiti! the Gold Coast (Australia) With a little bit of research you may be surprised to find that there have been similar happenings.
In this modern age it’s easy to feel that some of our old skills are not needed or valued anymore but sometimes it’s simply that we haven’t had opportunity to show our grandchildren what we can do! The latest trend in “upcycling” being a good example. My grand daughter in the UK helps her Dad sand and paint wooden chairs that they buy at local auctions and with a bit of distressing and chalk paint they are re sold in small boutique shops. Have your grand children ever been to an auction? The finished project could easily be stored away until Christmas for the children to surprise their parents.
5. Table Top Activities
Every parent has one or two stashed away in a memory box! Those glitter and glue cards from pre-school? There are many ideas out there from “crafty” people though that take them to another level. Some of them are so easy that even I can do them. Check my Pinterest board out for some of my favourites.
You don’t have to have a huge garden to give your grandchildren the opportunity to experience the joy of gardening. With today’s busy lifestyle not every parent has the time to do this but, the best thing about being retired is that we are often “time rich”. If your grandchildren’s visit are restricted then make sure you have everything you need on hand. You can spend a lovely afternoon planting vegetables that will be there for the picking when they return. One of the best never fail flowers to plant are marigolds.I would steer clear of planting brussel sprouts as a vegetable but I’ve found peas to be a revelation!
“Building relationships with our techno grand children that’s more meaningful than,
“How’s school going?” needs to be a positive experience for everyone.”
I am mindful of the quote I adhere to it frequently. Again, busy households are often time poor when it comes to frivolity in the kitchen so I make a point of choosing something fun. Of course, healthy can be fun too. With a bit of luck your son or daughter will be partial to a little bit of Rocky Road or fudge now and then too!
8. Hand Crafts
I was in New Zealand recently helping my daughter post surgery and with time on my hands I decided to take up what use to be a prolific hobby of mine, knitting. Unfortunately no one wanted a jersey or a pair of socks but as I was looking online for some inspiration my grand daughter saw a knitting pattern for a slouch hat (bit like an overstretched beanie) and was delighted when I said I could make her one! To cut a long story short she is now learning to knit herself with the goal of selling them to her friends
9. Be a Spectator
With grandchildren in both the hemispheres my family understand that I am not a tourist! Watching the grand children play rugby, netball and athletics is exactly where I want to be. One of the perks of being retired is not having to wait for a day off to stand on the side lines.
10 Out of the Box
My grandson had a new experience recently when a retired neighbour let him use part of her stall to sell some of his unwanted toys at a car boot sale. With a bit of preparation before the visit this could be a lot of fun for everyone.