Making sure your kids see grandparents and great-grandparents isn’t always easy. Life is busy, but it can pass you by at a mile-a-minute if you don’t step back and make sure quality family time between generations is a part of it.
When kids spend time with grandparents and great-grandparents, they get a lot of benefits:
- A wider support system leading to fewer emotional and behavioral issues, with a greater sense of security. Kids who grow up around elderly relatives are better-able to tackle difficult events later in life.
- An intergenerational identity. A better understanding of your family history and where you come from can increase kids’ resilience and help them feel in control of their lives as they get older.
- A greater sense of history. Learning details about older relatives’ lives can give kids a better understanding of history and reduce ageist attitudes.
Besides benefits for your kids, there’s even evidence that having young kids around can help seniors live longer.
Here are a few ways you can make more quality time between your kids and their grandparents happen.
#1 Use Technology
Apps like Skype and FaceTime are cost-effective ways for kids to catch up with their grandparents face-to-face, without having to travel. Because they use WiFi or data instead of your phone connection, you can avoid the long-distance charges that come with an ordinary phone call, plus you get video streaming.
But as you may know as a parent, keeping little kids on the phone isn’t the easiest activity in the world, especially if they’re shy. That’s why more grandparents are playing games online with their grandkids, so they can spent quality time together the way they might if they lived down the street.
#2 Ask Your Kids
Have you ever run into the problem where your kids say they don’t want to spend with grandparents? Try getting them to engage on their own terms. Ask your kids what they want to do with their grandparents or what they might want to learn. These can be great ways to get kids more excited about those times you need grandma and grandpa to babysit.
#3 Family-Friendly Events at Retirement Residences
If your own parents or grandparents live in a retirement residence or are thinking about that move, find out what kind of family-friendly events they plan. It can feel harder to get kids to visit grandparents if they’ve made the move to a retirement residence, but family activities are great reasons to visit.
You can check this out to learn what kind of family-friendly activities might be going on at retirement residences near you. Consider event programming and location as a family before you and your senior parents start looking at potential places to live. Having grandkids and great-grandkids around can help seniors feel younger, and it’s important for young kids to learn from and make lifelong memories with their grandparents and great-grandparents.
Any family time is good family time. Make sure there’s more of it by finding new ways for your kids and grandkids to connect with elderly relatives