Every grandparent enjoys spending time with their grandkids and making them happy.
Unfortunately, that can sometimes be a challenge depending on their age and distance from your home. However, as it is time for making New Year’s Resolutions, choose to improve yourself and be the coolest grandparent ever – your grandkids will love spending time with you even more than before.
Bond through music
Introduce each other to your favorite songs, and who knows, your grandchild might just discover their hidden love for AC/DC. Take it a step further and attend concerts together – your grandkids will love you because you’ll be the responsible adult taking them to the concert they couldn’t see alone.
Sure, you might have to sit through an entire Ariana Grande concert, but it will all be worth it when your grandchild calls you the best grandma/grandpa ever.
Become more tech-savvy
Nowadays, kids are all about technology, so it might be a great idea to become more skilled in that field. Learning your way around the internet will allow you to get closer to them – you can play online games together, see each other’s photos on social media, and Skype whenever you want.
This is especially useful if your grandkids live far away from you, as it will allow you to spend quality time together, even if it’s only in the online environment.
Don’t just give – do
Besides just showering them with presents and seeing their faces light up, make an attempt to actually do things together. The time you share together is much more meaningful since one day, one of your experiences could become their favorite memory.
So, depending on your grandkids’ age, you can go for walks, take up a DIY project, or just spend time chatting about their new college life.
Be their safe place
One of the greatest advantages of spending time with your grandkids is precisely the fact that you are not their parent. This means that they can come to you when they need a piece of advice about something they think their parents wouldn’t understand, like a bad grade in school, a new crush, or a new piercing they are so excited about. Just make sure to listen to them and show them that you understand them.
Plus, if, for example, your grandchild needs some peace and quiet to prepare for their college admission essay, your home can be the perfect place for that. They wouldn’t have to shoo their siblings out of their room every five minutes, and they’d get plenty of tasty food to boost their energy levels.
Break some rules
Now, this doesn’t mean you should undermine your children by ignoring every rule they set and giving your grandchildren too many sweets when you were specifically told not to. That could only lead to an argument with the parents and a very confused grandchild who has no idea what the rules are anymore.
However, there’s nothing wrong with letting your grandchild stay up a bit longer to finish their cartoon, or bringing them breakfast in bed if they are staying over for a couple of days. Kids love those kinds of little secrets, and it will only make them enjoy their time with you even more.
Make an effort
It’s normal for kids to forget about staying in touch, so make it your job to maintain the relationship. Don’t call them just on holidays and birthdays, but rather try to be included in celebrating all of their achievements, no matter how seemingly small. For example, if they’ve just learned how to ride a bike, ask to come and see.
Or, if they’ve just won the first prize in a Spelling Bee competition, take them out for an ice cream to celebrate. Make an effort to be there, so when they grow older, they will remember you as the coolest grandparent ever who was always there for them.
Cherish the memories
If you are that grandparent who loves talking about the good ol’ days, spice up your story-telling skills with pictures, souvenirs, and other interesting details from the past. Kids can get bored by words alone, but they will love listening to you if next to your childhood story, you can also show them a picture of you playing with your toys.
Moreover, don’t just talk about your adventures – joke about them, and don’t be afraid to tell them about the events that might have been embarrassing back then – they will surely be funny now. Finally, after you tell your story, listen to theirs too.
The key to being the coolest grandparent is respect and understanding. Respect for your own kids and their parenting wishes, and understanding of your grandchildren and their opinions.
As the oldest and the wisest family member, be there for all of them, share your word of wisdom, and listen to theirs. This way, you will build long-lasting relationships that will definitely earn you the title of the best grandparent ever.
Author: Isabel F. William
Isabel F. William is a Body & Mind Balance Consultant. She’s a lover of literature and philosophy, a runner, and a Tai Chi master. Isabel believes that sometimes it is just enough to enjoy a really good book, smooth jazz and a cup of coffee to travel somewhere else.
Finally, you may contact Isabel by email at: isabel.f.william (@) gmail.com & isabel.frank (@) ripped.me
Thank you Isabel for sharing with us Kids On The Far Side Of 55!
Until next time,