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.
- 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.
- Get along with your own children. The grandchild’s parents are usually the gatekeepers that will allow whether the grandparent will sustain the connection with the grandchild.
- Learn about each other’s hobbies and interests. Make a list of hobbies and dreams you both have and discuss them. Sharing creates connections.
- 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.
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.