Let’s just forget “Grandparents Day”

Grandparents Day is quickly approaching on September 13th.  No, this isn’t a post with a bunch of crafts for you to whip up with the kids. {Although if that is your thing, go for it!} You see, I’m going for a different approach here. I say we all just forget it! Well, sorta… Hear me out…

I think Grandparents Day is a great reminder for us parents to help nurture the relationship our kids have with the grandparents or even great-grandparents in their lives.  Let’s use this day as a reminder of the little things we can start doing now, to help make memories that will last a lifetime.

Here’s a few easy ways to start…

1. Take On Some of the Same Interests

Get your kids interested in something the grandparents are interested in. For example, teach them about birds if the Grands love birds. Buy a bird feeder, and learn about the types of birds that come around. Send a bag of bird feed over to the grandparents so they can help feed the birds together. If they love a certain type of cookie or baked treat, have your child make it for them.

2. Indulge in Special Treats

Let the grandparents know a few special treats the kids love, so they can have it on hand at their house. For example, my 6 year old loves gummy bears inside an ice cream cone. I never let her eat that here, but at her Gigi’s house, it is a special treat. And at her great grandma’s house {my grandma}, she always has vanilla ice cream. I always call ahead to make sure she has it.

3. Stay Connected

We love looking on Facebook to see picture updates from family and friends, right? Well, if your parents or grandparents are not on social media, consider getting them something so you can “share” pictures with them. My husband’s family bought their dad a wifi picture frame that has its own email address. You can email the picture frame a picture and it automatically pops up in the frame. THEY LOVE IT. And, they feel connected.

4. Send Mail

Frequently have the kids draw some art work or make a card and send it to the grandparents. It doesn’t have to be a special day. Set FaceTime or Skype dates and stick to it, no matter how busy life gets!

5. Get Mail

If the grandparents need gift ideas, consider telling them to get a cool magazine or other subscription box service for the kids. My daughter gets National Geographic for Kids and High Five from her Gigi. She LOVES checking the mail to see if one of those magazines are in there. Each time it comes, she talks about how Gigi sent it, etc… It’s like an on-going gift!

6. Establish Rituals/Traditions

Plan ahead activities you think both the kids and the grandparents will enjoy. For example, help organize a “Grand camp” with the Grandparents. I have some friends who do this every summer. They get shirts made and everything – it’s so cute! Buy the crafts, snacks, shirts, or whatever…drop them off at Grandma’s and let them cut loose!

7. Share Memories

Tell your kids about your own experiences with your parents and grandparents. For example, collect old pictures and put it together in an album for the kids to look through.

8. Stay Away

Try really hard not to get in the way when the grandparents are spending time with the kids. These are moments they will remember and cherish forever. For example, my mom taught my 5 year old how to light matches. Would I have done that? HECK NO. But, my mom explained that Claire was interested and that it’s safer for her to know how to do these things the right way instead of hiding and playing with it. Good point.

9. But Stay Close Too

If there is a special event at school or church, invite the grandparents to come. Even if you think it’s something they might not enjoy, just ask! You never know!

10. Honor Them

I know, a lot of you have grandparents and parents who are no longer with us. But make sure to keep their memory alive. Put out a picture or keep a little something that belonged to grandma out for the kids to see, like maybe a tea cup or doily. Whatever you do – keep those family traditions alive.

grandma pic

This is my amazing grandma as happy as a clam, surrounded by a few of her great-grandkids.  What are some ways you and your family stay connected with the grandparents in your life? We would love to know!

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