How To Help Grandparents Feel More Involved
Grandparents make the world go round. They are always full of wisdom with an abundant amount of love. Their job of raising you did not stop there. Grandparents also play a crucial role in your children’s lives.
There are multiple positive reinforcements on children when they spend more time with their grandparents. Including them in your child's life shows them you appreciate them and allows them to help you shape your child into the person they are meant to be.
Aim for a Relationship and Not a Babysitter
How easy, as a parent, is it to call up your mom and dad and ask them to watch your child while you go out for date night? Most grandparents would agree, but that isn’t the point. You may want free childcare, but constantly asking the grandparent to watch the kids gives them the impression you only want them around as a babysitter.
Instead, set up weekly playdates with everyone. Having both parties present while playing with the child shows them what a strong relationship with your parents can look like. If they see you interacting with your parents, they too will be more comfortable being around them.
Activities Everyone Can Enjoy
When it comes time to hang out with the grandparents, keep activities they can do in mind. Sure, they love watching your kids go on rides at the county fair, but they would rather be doing something with the child that involves them.
Rather than the county fair, try a park. Here’s how to help grandparents feel more involved at the park: push the kids on the swing, help them across the monkey bars, and play in the sandbox with them. Physical interactions with the children help build motor learning skills and put a smile on the grandparent’s face.
Communicate Whenever Possible
Grandparents aren’t always around. Some live down the block, while others live a few states away. It’s hard when the grandparent is far away, but lucky for us, we have modern technology. Set up weekly or monthly calls with them so your child can tell them about their week and include them more.
The bigger question in this instance is, does the grandparent have a cell phone? Lucky for you, they don’t need one! The Angel Watch Company’s health monitor watches for seniors allow for calls and video chats without an internet connection. It’s easily accessible and can be used anytime, anywhere. They can even read a bedtime story to their grandkids over video chat.
Ask for Advice
You may think once you have your own children you don’t need your parents anymore. An essential aspect to including the grandparents is allowing them to also aid in shaping who your child is. They might have wise advice or the perfect solution that you didn’t think of. However, if you don’t need the advice, ask it anyway.
In the case where they ask if you need help, take it. You might not need it, but listening to what they are saying and using their support helps them feel more accomplished and involved in your child’s life.
Send Pictures and Create Art
Don’t let your refrigerator be the only art gallery for your child. Give your child’s art to their grandparents to help the grandparents feel more involved. Hanging their grandkid’s art in their home will give them a sense of pride to be their grandparent, as well as make them feel loved by their grandchildren. You could choose art that your child brings home or bust out the craft supplies and make an activity out of it.
Snapping pictures of your kiddos whenever they do something funny or cute is a great way to keep the grandparents in the loop. They’ll love the updates throughout the day and feel like they are there when they might be many miles away.
Show Excitement When Seeing the Grandparents
If your child sees how much excitement you have when it’s time to visit the grandparents, that excitement will seep into them. You can all share the joy! Your child will already be in a good mood, and when they see grandma or grandpa’s face, everyone will be smiling.
Kids are very observant and pick up on things you think they don’t hear. Always keeping a positive attitude around the topic of grandparents instills in them the importance of having them around and learning from them.
Invite Grandparents to School Activities
Some schools allow kids to have visitors during certain activities or for lunchtime. Invite the grandparent to the next sporting event or concert. They’ll see how much you want them involved, and they’ll enjoy their time watching their grandkid.
This not only makes the grandparent feel special, but the child will also feel endless amounts of support and love having the whole family there to watch them in their next soccer or basketball game.
Invite Them to Family Vacations
Not every vacation needs to involve the grandparents, but asking them if they would be interested in tagging along could go a long way. Leave the decision up to them, but know that having them there will make the family feel whole. Your child might also think it’s pretty cool to have grandma and or grandpa along for the ride.
Not every vacation requires boarding a place and jumping states. Maybe the family is going on a road trip to a different part of the state you live in. It doesn’t hurt to ask the grandparents if they would like to come. The intention of even wanting them there will be enough to validate that they are wanted and loved.
Suggest Doing an Activity They love
Simply asking your parents what they would love to do with your kids could make a big difference. Doing hobbies they also enjoy shows how much effort you put into involving them. Not only will they enjoy their time more, but it can also be a learning opportunity for your child.
Maybe the grandparent is very knowledgeable in coins, and your child has shown interest in that. Include these hobbies when setting up playdates. They might even have a ton of fun collecting new items together.
Involving grandparents should come naturally; after all, they raised you. Many grandparents are already retired and have more time on their hands. Filling their day with love from little ones will not only make them feel included but make them feel younger all over again!