Our family members are very important to us, and grandchildren are especially precious.
But as our grandchildren enter those precarious years called adolescence, building a relationship can seem nearly impossible.
The problem lies in the fact that it’s not that easy for each generation to relate to one another. Things that make sense to you don’t make sense to them, and vice versa.
However, the family bond is a vital one. It is what helps people get through difficult periods in life and makes them feel truly valued in this world.
How, though, can you build a relationship with your grandchild when it seems like you have nothing in common?
While relating to your grandchild might not be easy – it is possible.
Read on to find out why it can be so hard to each other and what you can do to get closer than ever to your beloved grandchild.
Why Relating to Your Grandchild Can Be So Difficult
When your grandkids are young, relating to them doesn’t seem so hard. They’re adorable, and the two of you have fun and enjoy each other’s company.
But then, as time progresses, it becomes increasingly difficult for family members to relate to each other.
One of the causes for this is the increasingly difficult and stressful teen years.
Multiple articles have been written about just how hard it is to be a teenager in this day and age.
There are a variety of reasons for this.
First of all, your grandchild is dealing with raging hormones that would put even the calmest person in a horrible mood. Within a relatively short period of time, your grandchild can experience happiness, frustration, joy, rage, and depression. It’s completely overwhelming.
Another issue is that the teenage brain isn’t “fully baked,” as Alexandra Sifferlin of Time Magazine put it. The human brain is nowhere near fully developed during the teen years. In fact, some estimates put the age of full development at 25 years.
That means that your teen grandkids aren’t always thinking straight and why their behavior can, at times, seem reckless – and you’re left wondering who has possessed your grandchild’s body.
This is also a time of life when children want to exercise some independence. You and their parents still see them as children (because they are), but they see themselves more as adults.
It’s an awkward, angst-filled experience – for everyone involved.
So when you try to relate to your grandchild, doing so can seem nearly impossible. Thankfully, it’s not.
How to Get Closer to Your Grandchild – Tips for Building a Relationship
Even though it’s not the easiest thing in the world, family bonding is vital for everyone in your family, particularly your grandkids.
Building a relationship with them doesn’t have to feel like pulling teeth, though.
If you’d like to find out how to get closer to your grandchild, here are some helpful tips.
1. Remember the Love You Have for Them
Someone once said that God made babies cute so that you don’t want to kick your kids out when they become teenagers.
You have a lot of love for your grandchildren. From the day you found out that your son or daughter was expecting a child, your love for that little baby just grew and grew.
Now that the child is older, your love for them hasn’t diminished. But it can be hard to speak or react with love when a teen is misbehaving. Just keep reminding yourself of how much love you have for this person and it will help you get through the tough times.
2. Accepting Differences – Key to Building a Relationship
Before you even start a conversation with your grandchild, recognize that you’re both different. They’re going to like things you don’t, and vice versa.
Accepting differences right away will actually help you keep an open mind when your grandchild says something you weren’t expecting or suggests the two of you try something outside of your comfort zone.
3. Avoid Lecturing Your Grandchild
Your grandchild probably feels like they get enough lectures from their parents.
When your grandchild comes to you for a talk, they’re hoping to get a listening ear. They might feel that you’ll be more respectful of the fact that they’re almost an adult than their parents are, and will, therefore, treat them as one.
Of course, if your grandchild needs some correction – don’t be afraid to provide it. Just remember to do so with respect, both to them and to their parents.
A Beautiful, Lifelong Relationship with Your Child Takes Work
It’s no secret that building relationships takes work, especially if you’re trying to build one with a teenager. But it can be done.
If you’re willing to put in a little bit of time and effort, accept the differences between you and your grandchild, and show them how much you love them – you’ll be able to build a beautiful relationship.
It will be a relationship that will last your entire life and something that your grandchild will treasure for the rest of theirs.