Seeing the little ones grow is something we enjoy and disapprove of, at the same time.
But when it’s about your kids’ children, time seems to pass even faster: at one point they can barely walk their feet, and the next day they’re off to college?
Making the most out of every day you get to spend with your family is priceless.
Do things together and get to know each other, because, in the end, it’s not about the amount of time you spend with somebody, but the quality of time.
Bonding with Your Middle-School Grandchildren
1. Baking and Cooking
Besides the yumminess in the kitchen, baking your grandkid’s favorite cookie while having them help you is a fun and meaningful way to connect with them.
Because kids love learning new things to do, they’ll be all eyes and ears and will enjoy spending this bonding time with you.
You can guide the little kid through the recipe, and watch them measure leveling spoons and cups, trying to get everything in place.
The bottom line is that they feel safe because you will help them if they mess the kitchen up, but also proud because they learned a new (delicious) skill!
2. Making Arts and Crafts
Just as mentioned above, kids are big fans of creating. Be it a picture, collage, a cookie, a poem or a personalized Thank You card, they adore knowing that they’re the author of what you’re both looking at.
Next time you see each other, surprise them: take them to the crafts store, buy some glue, glitter, and the rest of the materials you’d need, and start the fun.
Because things will probably get messy, make sure you designate a specific area for this activity.
3. Look at Photos and Baby Books
Kids have unlimited levels of curiosity, and one of the questions that bother them most once they have grown up is “what was my family like before I was born?”
Take out the family photo albums and show them pictures of their parents and yourself. Although there are no longer black and white dramatic photos, like those you used to show to your children, your grandkids will enjoy seeing pics from their parents’ childhood.
4. Show Them Your Jewelry Box
Just as mentioned before, their curiosity makes them fascinated by personal items with history. If the jewels are skillfully crafted, they might even catch the little ones’ attention even if they’re boys.
But more important than the jewels themselves are their stories. Children adore listening to tales, so get them to know the story of every jewel.
5. Play Video Games
Playing video games might seem like cheating because there’s technology involved. But, the fact that you share a moment over a video game will strengthen your relationship. Take the WII controllers out of the box and challenge your grandkids to a tennis game.
Bonding with Teenagers
1. Solve Puzzles and Brain Games
For a teenager, solving a puzzle might not seem tempting even by themselves, let alone with their grandparent.
However, the range of brain games and puzzle-based games is so vast and varied today that it’s impossible there isn’t one to draw their attention.
The main point is that you will have to work together and collaborate to find the solution.
This way, you’ll listen to each other and be supportive of the other’s point of view, which will make you get along better in the long run.
2. Listen to Them More
Even though the teenage years are considered an unstable period, the truth is teenagers need understanding and someone to listen to them.
The responsibility of correcting them or showing them right from wrong falls within the parents’ responsibilities.
Your job as a grandparent is to understand them and show them support – at least, that’s what they expect from you.
3. Have a Friendly Chat
Having a chat on Thursday evening can be a great relief for both of you. You can chat about what’s happened at school or talk about each other’s hobbies.
Another thing you can do is tell them stories from what life was like for you when you were their age.
After all, a grandparent is their wisest friend – share that wisdom with them.
Get to Know Each Other
The relationship between a grandparent and grandkids is special. Although children can get hooked on tablets, phones or in front of the TV for incredible amounts of time, the truth is nothing can compare to their parents’ parents. See how you can help them but, most importantly, see what you can learn from them.