For many grandparents, it can sometimes feel like your grandchildren have come from an alien culture with language and interests that are nearly incomprehensible. This can be frustrating for both you and your grandkids, and it might leave you feeling like there is no room for you in their lives.
Fortunately, this isn't the case. Bonding with your grandchildren might take a bit of creativity, but the four suggestions below are all great places to start.
1. Learn something new together.
Nothing brings people together more than shared learning. When you're both starting out with no prior knowledge of the subject at hand, you can grow closer by discovering a new skill or hobby together.
Be sure to choose something that interests both of you and that is age-appropriate for your grandchildren. If you have multiple grandkids, consider spending one-on-one time learning something different with each of them.
This could be as simple as working through a cookbook, learning to draw or growing a small herb garden.
2. Take turns teaching each other.
Kids love learning, and they also love teaching. Maybe your grandchild wants to learn how to read sheet music or write in cursive, and maybe you wish you knew more about how to play online games.
Whatever you decide on, take turns teaching each other the basics and practicing your new skills.
3. Explore family history online and offline.
Many kids today have little or no knowledge of their family history. If you keep genealogy records, you can sit down with your grandchildren and tell them stories about their heritage.
However, if you don't know much about your family tree, there are many genealogy websites that can help you explore your family history spanning back many generations. You might even want to start a blog or scrapbook of interesting family members and facts you both uncover.
4. Bridge the generational gap with music.
Every generation believes its music is the best, but you and your grandchildren can form a bond over a shared love of music. Take turns introducing each other to a favourite band or a playlist of favourite songs. You can look up the lyrics together and talk about why you love a particular song or artist.
If you're able, you can even plan to go to live concerts together. Making memories with music is a great way to get closer.
Bonding Takes Time
Regardless of what you choose to do, remember that developing a great relationship with your grandkids is a steady process that yields great rewards.