Sometimes crossing a generational gap can be tricky. Learn how to connect with your grandchildren, and you’ll be able to keep your relationship strong.
How to Connect with Your Grandchildren
Do you sometimes have trouble connecting to your grandkids? It’s natural for cross-generational relationships to have their ups and downs, but that doesn’t mean you can’t share a meaningful connection. These tips on how to connect with your grandchildren can help you get back on track.
Remember Why Grandparents Are Important
If you aren’t sure how to connect to your grandchildren, it can be helpful to reflect on grandparents’ role in families throughout the ages. Grandparents have an important place in their grandkids’ lives because they can offer necessary guidance, support, and love. Don’t underestimate how much your contributions can mean to your grandchildren’s lives.
Respect the Role of Their Parents
While grandparents can often offer excellent guidance in a variety of situations, it’s important to remember that your grandkid’s parents are the ones who are ultimately responsible for them. That isn’t to say that you shouldn’t contribute, but be sure to encourage your grandkids to respect their parents’ authority and allow them to be the final word in difficult discussions. Supporting the parents will help them view you as an ally and allow you to be a part of the family unit.
Share Your Wisdom
One of the most critical roles a grandparent can take is a provider of wisdom. Share the life lessons you’ve learned with your grandchildren. Are there life skills you can pass on, such as cooking a favorite family recipe? Is there a family tradition you want to help them carry into the next generation? Take the time you have with your grandchildren to teach and share, and encourage them to come to you when they have questions about life. They may need your help more than you realize!
Support Their Interests
No, you don’t have to start getting into everything your grandchildren enjoy. Kids can sense when adults are trying to act like their peers, and trying to appear more youthful than you are probably will not end well. However, you can find ways to connect with your grandkids by inviting them to share the things they love with you. Read books together, or watch a movie you know they love. Invite them to share what they’re up to at school and praise their achievements. Don’t try to be a fellow kid; instead, be a supportive and attentive adult.
Be Kind to Yourself
Have you ever heard of the concept of the “good enough” parent? This child psychology term refers to competent, caring, and supportive parenting that still leaves room for the occasional mistake. You can’t do everything perfectly in any relationship, and your relationship with your grandchildren is no different. So try not to take the bumps in the road too personally, and don’t expect yourself to be a perfect grandparent in every way. Show up, show them you care, and trust that the relationship you’re building will remain strong.
Do you know how to connect with your grandchildren? No matter how you do it, you’ll be successful if you lead with love and support.
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