There will always be a special bond between kids and grandparents, but with the busy lives we lead, it's easy to let the relationship slide. Mighty Mommy shares 5 ways to help cultivate a stronger connection between the two groups.
This past September 7th, families across the country celebrated a very special holiday known as National Grandparents Day. It all started in 1970, when a West Virginia housewife, named Marian Lucille Herndon McQuade, initiated a campaign to set aside a special day just for grandparents.
The first Grandparents Day was proclaimed in 1973, in West Virginia, by Governor Arch Moore, but it took a lot of effort before the United States Congress passed legislation officially making the first Sunday after Labor Day National Grandparents Day. The proclamation was signed by President Jimmy Carter.
Today, even with the overwhelmingly hectic lives that families lead, grandparents still play a tremendously important role in the lives of their grandkids. In fact, according to a recent report from AARP.Org, over 7 million children are living in homes where grandparents or other relatives are the head of house, with more than 5 million kids living in their grandparents' homes.
Regardless of whether your kids live with or close to their grandparents, or have a long-distance relationship with them, the unconditional love, support, and shared wisdom that develops between kids and grandparents is something uniquely special--and something that will hopefully never be taken for granted..
With that in mind, here are 5 fresh ways to help cultivate a stronger connection between your kids and their grandparents, both on Grandparent's Day, and all year long.
Tip #1: Mail Call
Who doesn't love receiving a card or letter in the mail that is just for fun, and completely unexpected? While technology affords us instant avenues for communicating with friends and loved ones, there is still something special about receiving actual handwritten mail that is delivered right to our homes.
One way for kids and grandparents to stay connected is by exchanging notes, drawings, cards, and other written communication. My kid's grandparents live close by, but we still enjoy sending them copies of report cards, drawings, crossword or Suduoko puzzle pages, or funny greeting cards throughout the year. This habit has carried over to my college kids, who have found it comforting to correspond back and forth when apart from our family during the school year.
Tip #2: Bond with Books
Sharing the gift of reading is a wonderful way for grandparents to bond with their grandkids. Have grandma or grandpa take the kids to the library for story hour, or to just sit and look for interesting books together. Later, they can snuggle on the couch and read while you're running errands or making dinner.
Tweens and teens can keep their grandparents in the loop by sharing the different series they might be reading, and then invite them to read the same books so they can discuss them. This could even turn into their own grandparent-grandchild book club, where they meet up for ice cream sundaes and some one-on-one time to talk about the books, as well as other things going on in their lives.