Grandparents can influence children in a way that parents can’t. So make the most of the time you spend with your grandkids. Author and grandmother, Linda Eyre shares her thoughts on how to show grandchildren more love.
CREATE ONE ON ONE TIME WITH GRANDMA/GRANDPA DATES. It works best with one child and one adult. Set up the date far enough in advance that the child has a chance to look forward to it. The child gets to say where he/she wants to eat but the adult who loves that child has an agenda that helps them really get to know the child which is to……
ASK QUESTIONS In order to really know who a child likes, dislikes, worries about and is excited about, we have to ask questions. Not just “How are you?” because the child will almost always say “Fine”. The questions need to be crafted so that it requires the child to really think. For grandparents who live far away or parents who may not live with their child, a questionnaire works almost as well. (I plan to send this out to our grandchildren eight and older just before our family reunion and have the parents follow up to be sure it gets sent back before we get together. It’ will be great ammunition for more loving relationships!)
Here are some possible questions. If you are physically together, have a notebook to record answers because you will be amazed and amused at what they think! Start with predictable ones:
1. What are your favorites? (Color, food, sport, place to visit, movie, singer or group, class in school, whatever applies to that particular child).
2. What three words would you use to describe yourself?
3. What do you like about your mom/dad/grandma/grandpa
4. What are three things that you are pretty sure you will do?
5. What are three things that you think you might do but you’re not sure?
6. What are three things you will absolutely never do?
7. What do you worry about?
8. What scares you?
9. What do you like to think about?
If you are with a young child, have them draw a picture in the notebook and add their “signature”. It will be a permanent record of what that child is thinking at that moment in time.
There is a new APP called KIdChatteroo that can easily be download on an iPhone that makes it easy to do a voice recording of their answers. You just enter the child’s name and press the record button. Questions are provided there if you want to use them. This would be easy to use in the car or at the dinner table.
SHARE YOU PASSIONS AND LEARN TO LOVE THEIRS
Let your children and grandchildren know what you love so they can learn to love it too! Then take real interest in what they love.
Take them to the symphony (maybe with young children, leave at the intermission in order not to wear out the welcome). There are several symphonies each year that are geared to children. Then listen to their music (and don’t let on if it’s painful). Really work on learning about the music that they love and you might be surprised about much they will love yours!
Go to art galleries and show them what you love. Then ask them what they see that they like and why.
Attend sporting events with them or watch with them on television even if you’d rather not. Teach them about sports you may love. With addicted sports fans at our house, I finally decided, “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em”!
USE THE INTERNET TO LOVE THEM MORE!
Texts that show you know what is going on in their lives are huge!
Comment on their Instagram posts.
And of course, don’t forget to give more hugs!
For more parenting advice visit www.valuesparenting.com