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How to Connect With Your Older Grandchildren

Generation

If you’re like many fifty or sixty- year olds(or older), you are likely treasuring your role as a grandparent and the precious moments you have sharing and connecting with your grandchildren. You probably fawn over your baby grandchildren, and love buying them toys during the holidays, creating a bond of trust and communication. However, how does the relationship between grandparent and grandchild still flourish when the grandchild reaches the stages of adulthood?

A recent Boston study examining nearly twenty years of study discovered that in both grandparents and grandchildren there is less depression when there is a good relationship between them. Furthermore, researchers found that grandparents contribute to helping the grandchild find their overall sense of identity by providing a strong bond and connection to the younger generation.

Given how important maintaining a strong relationship between the two generations, how can you maximize your relationship with your grandchild IE how do you connect with your grandchild?

A 2013 study conducted by Central Michigan University researchers Mikiyasu Hakoyama and Eileen Malonebeach will provide insight as to how you can maintain the delicate yet important relationship.

  1. Be a part of a grandchild’s life starting from a young age. Investing time into the role of “grandparenting” will pay off greatly as you become an essential part of developing the child’s sense of self and identity.
  2. Get along with you own children. The grandchild’s parents are usually the gatekeepers that will allow whether the grandparent will sustain the connection with the grandchild.
  3. Learn about each other’s hobbies and interests. Make a list of hobbies and dreams you both have and discuss them. Sharing creates connections.
  4. Enjoy fun activities together. For example, take walks, go to movies or museums. Or be more adventurous and take a trip together that you will both enjoy.

Ultimately, that unique and special bond that skips a generation will not only enrich the lives of the grandchildren, but also your own.

Ude, Rita. “How to Connect With Older Grandchildren.” -Right at Home. N.p., 15 Oct. 2013. Web. 11 Dec. 2013.

Whitbourne, Susan Krauss. “5 Tips For Connecting With Your Grandchildren: The View From Grandchildren.” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 18 June 2013. Web. 11 Dec. 2013.