Helping Seniors Connect with Grandchildren

November 17, 2015

Active grandparenting can benefit both the senior and the child. For instance, HelpGuide.org highlighted that when older adults are involved with their grandkids’ lives, the seniors can gain new perspectives on the world, discover their grandchildren’s passions, like music or movies, and watch the little ones grow mentally and physically.

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Meanwhile, grandchildren can receive encouragement and support from adults other than their parents and learn about their family history through this unique bond.

If you want to help foster that connection between your parents and kids, use these tips:

Open Opportunities with Technology

Your kids likely grew up with technology, so even when a new device comes along, they’ve learned enough to know how to acquaint themselves with it quickly. Your parents, on the other hand, probably need some assistance with this. Being adept with technology can give older adults more opportunities to learn and connect with the world.

Consider getting your parents a new gadget, such as a tablet or smartphone, and let your youngster help them learn how to work the device. Your child can share their knowledge base with your parent, and the pair will get some quality bonding time. Need some ideas to get started? Check out these five great phone apps for seniors: TED Talks and Clevermind. Having a device will also help them learn about health conditions, make doctor appointments, and keep in touch with their families.

Edgewood senior working on computer.Have your kids help your parent get in touch with technology.

 

Allow for Quality One-On-One Visits

While the saying “the more the merrier” rings true in most circumstances, one-on-one time is just as crucial for building those grandparent-grandchild connections. This is especially important if you have more than one child or your little one has a few cousins.

Please have your child spend the afternoon with your parent at their assisted living community. Together, they can enjoy the amenities like the movie theater or group exercise classes. If your loved ones want to spend the day elsewhere, consider buying them lunch, sending them on a shopping trip at the mall, or signing them up to volunteer at an animal shelter.

Buy Them the Same Book

All too often, connections dwindle between grandparents and grandchildren because of their separate interests. You may hear your kids say, “We have nothing to talk about,” when visiting grandma or grandpa. If you have a young bookworm, consider getting the same novel for your child and your parent. This way, they have something specific to discuss that they both enjoy next time they are together.

Plus, it’s great for their brains. According to a study published in the journal, individuals who participated in intellectually stimulating activities like reading experienced a 32 percent slower rate of cognitive decline later in life than those who did not take up these hobbies.

Remember, you are the connecting link between your children and your parents. Make the most of your unique place in the family by encouraging your loved ones to spend quality time together.

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