Cultivate meaningful relationships with your grandchildren, or great-grandchildren, in ways that speak their language.
When it comes to forging solid relationships with grandchildren, there’s no single right way to go about it. If you really want to catch their attention, think tech. Why? Because technology speaks to their generation on a 24-7 basis. From smartphones to iPads to the internet, you can connect whenever the moment strikes.
While there’s no substitute for in-person time and heartfelt hugs, technology can help bridge the gap between visits for those living far apart. Catch up on a birthday, during the holidays, or after a choir performance to hear all the latest happenings. Ask to see photos — either to show on screen during the video chat or to email you later.
Text or Email
Older kids might prefer receiving texts or quick emails “just to say hello.” If you can’t make a dance performance, ask Mom or Dad to send you a video clip. Then share your positive feedback with the performer. For other important events, ask open-ended questions to get the teen talking. Consider: Which of your friends attended with you? and What was your favorite part of the event?
Send digital photos to be printed or — even better — create a memory keepsake book. Don’t know where to start? Decide on the topic. It might be a personal memory you’d like to share and make available for generations to come, or something you’ve all shared together like a family vacation.
Remember sitting around the radio listening to a good story? You can do the same with your grandchildren by creating audio files with snippets of your life. Think of it as a podcast or radio show about yourself. Some computers come with standard audio recording equipment or use voice memos on your phone. Tell funny stories about growing up or maybe even your first love — either way, it’s sure to be a big hit.
Be it baseball, football, or a great musical, find something you both love and do it together. Keep in mind you don’t physically have to go to a game or show, you might be able to stream them online or just chat about the details. And for those too young to communicate, try the universal languages of art or music!