Kids Bonding With Grandparents

By Holly Homer

Bonding With Grandparents

When I was a kid, we traveled across the country twice a year. Each trip was a pilgrimage to visit one of the sets of grandparents. I loved spending time with my grandparents, but because we lived so far away from each other, an occasional letter and a quick “hi” on the phone was the extent of what we could do. {Remember how expensive long-distance rates were?}
My kids are much luckier. My parents and my mother-in-law are just 45 minutes away from us. We see grandma, grandpa and Mimi on a regular basis. I LOVE seeing the relationship that has grown between my kids and their grandparents. They know their grandparents and know that they have adults other than mom and dad that are in their corner. I consciously try to schedule time for the kids to spend with their grandparents. Everyone benefits (including me).

They do a lot of things together. Here are a few of our favorites:

  • Cooking Together — Mimi is a great cook and the boys love making food with her. Their favorite is to make homemade ice cream in her machine. The last time she was here, she helped them cook bierocks to freeze and use in their lunchboxes.
  • Reading Together — My mom {grandma} comes and visits every Tuesday. The boys LOVE when grandma reads to them. They save their history, Bible and literature assignments to do with her. Grandma likes to listen to them read too and has more patience than mom does!
  • Playing Together Outside — During the summer, grandpa picks up my oldest boy once a week to go golfing. They have been doing it for several years. They play a par-three course near our house. Ryan has improved his golf skills, but the main benefit is how close he has grown to my dad.
  • Playing Together Inside — My boys love any sort of game. Often, mom and dad are too busy to play, but grandparents seem to always be willing. Grandma plays Connect 4 with my youngest boy, Mimi plays Fargo or Pit with my middle child and grandpa is always up for a game of Chess with my oldest.
  • Playing Together Online — My kids play Words with Friends or Hanging with Friends with their grandparents. I love that they interact with them daily. It helps them feel connected even if a visit is a few days away. The chat box is good for a little game trash-talking!
  • Being a Fan Together — Before my father-in-law passed away, he had a very special relationship with my boys. They shared their love of baseball. Even though Bampa wasn’t able to leave the house, he would watch the games on TV. If we went to the game, we would text pictures of the live action and he would text back commentary. My oldest loved to sit down and chat baseball stats and strategy with Bampa on our visits or over the phone after a great game.

It is my belief that one type of “spoiling” is good for kids. It is when grandparents spoil them rotten!

Kids bonding with grandparents can be beneficial for everyone in the family. How do you foster the relationship between your kids and their grandparents?