For many people, family is the most important thing to them. While this usually means your parents or siblings when you’re younger, as you get older, this becomes your partner and your children. And if you grew up having a good relationship with your family, you likely want those relationships to continue on for your own children and those whose relationships you valued when you were young.
But many times, physical and emotional distance can make it hard for you to bridge the gap between your children and your parents or grandparents, despite how much you might want for them to be close. Luckily, with a little time and effort, you can be a real conduit for a relationship between these two different generations.
To help you see how this can be done within your own family, here are three ways you foster a strong bond between your children and your parents or grandparents.
Invite The Grandparents To Everything
One of the first and easiest things you can do to help your kids and your parents or grandparents bond is to do things together. In many instances, your kids’ lives are going to be busy, so it makes sense for you to reach out to your parents or grandparents and invite them to every activity your child has.
By doing this, Jenny Chen, a contributor to NYParenting.com, shares that you as the parent will be able to set the stage and facilitate a relationship between your kids and your parents. Even if the activity is small or not of interest to your parents or grandparents, just knowing you want them there can work wonders.
Allow Your Kids To Help Care For Their Grandparents
In some families, your parents or grandparents might be too old or ill for your kids to really spend a lot of quality time doing activities together. However, this doesn’t have to stop them from developing a relationship.
According to Susan Adcox, a contributor to Very Well Family, your kids can grow in their love and appreciation for older grandparents if you allow them to help serve as a caregiver. Even if your parents or grandparents are in a nursing home, you and your young family can visit and make sure your older relatives are getting the care they need by being advocates for them.
Keep In Touch Traditionally And Through Technology
Many relationships between children and their grandparents struggle because they don’t quite know how to communicate with one another. But if you’re able to start some good habits for this when your kids are young, this communication could carry on throughout the rest of their lives.
To best do this, Kerry Kirk, a contributor to NAEYC.org, recommends that you encourage communication both traditionally in the form of hand-written letters or drawings as well as through video chat and other technology. This can help both sides embrace something they’re familiar with while also coming closer together.
If you want your kids to have a great relationship with your parents or grandparents, consider using the tips mentioned above to help facilitate this.