Attention: Grandchildren: Grandparents Day is 9/11/16.
Hey, even though I’m not a grandmother, I sure look forward to the day I am!
From what I hear, being a grandparent is a lot easier and better than being the parent. I’ll take that, thank you.
It’s not just the spoiling aspect that makes grandparenting special, but the freedom to love the family member without the same set of expectations we had with our own kids. We can listen and not pass the same judgment on their plans. We are not knitted up thinking they should be something specific when they grow up, just because it reflects well on us.
Also, I think of grandparents as the quintessential people to show children low-tech, high touch, interaction, which our society definitely needs.
It was my own grandma that led to my career with people over 65. I loved being one of four kids and going to see her by myself as I was growing up. She doted on me all weekend. ME! Thank you, Grandma! She’d ask, “What do you want for lunch, Dearie?” “Do you want to go shop for a new shirt?” I remember she had these gingerbread windmill cookies in her jar that was never empty. By contrast, my own mom hid chocolate in her sock drawer, to stop us kids from finding it. Anyway, I put two and two together and decided “old people” were the best!
If you’re uncertain how to interact with grandchildren, especially nowadays with technology being their favorite thing, here are a few, unique ideas:
Go outside together.
This simple activity is gold because nature is the antidote to technology and we want young people to be outside more. So go for a walk, explore, and connect. You might capitalize on the fact that your pace is a bit slower than the rush that others of us seem to be in. How lovely not to rush, to not push for the next thing on the itinerary? Kids need this. We all do.
Talk to your grandkids about items you used and saw in your lifetime that have disappeared now.
My mom shared this idea with me years ago. She got to thinking about all the things she grew up with that were no longer a part of modern day, and made of list to share with my daughter. I thought my then 13-year-old would balk or roll her eyes. Instead, they sat on the couch together and laughed and chatted for over an hour. My mom talked about paper drapes and carbon paper and bus tokens and my daughter listened with complete attention. I kept an ear out and learned about things I didn’t know, also, and got to wondering what would be gone in my lifetime. Maybe a corded telephone and a vinyl record will be completely gone when my grandchild comes along.