Unique Ways to Connect with Your Grandkids (and Great-Grandkids)

Unique Ways to Connect with Your Grandkids (and Great-Grandkids)

Staying connected with grandkids and great-grandkids is an important goal for many adults. However, it can sometimes be challenging to maintain that relationship as grandkids get older and move away to college, or start life as the adults they become. Making the effort to keep up with your grandkids is well worth it though, to both of you. 

Benefits of Intergenerational Connections

Intergenerational relationships are beneficial to all parties involved. Research has demonstrated that the connection between older adults and children (or young adults) can decrease depression and anxiety, increase feelings of fulfillment, and even aid in cognitive stimulation. Both participants also have the chance to learn new skills, which can boost self-esteem and feelings of purpose. Unique Ways to Connect with Your Grandkids (and Great-Grandkids)

Fostering good relationships with your grandkids and great-grandkids not only helps you pass down your family legacy and traditions, it also means making more memories with one another.

Now that you understand the importance of intergenerational relationships, how do you build and nurture these?

Here are some unique ways to connect with your grandkids (and great-grandkids).

Connect with Tech

Today’s young adults, teens, and kids live in a world where the internet has always been a part of their world. While the rest of us are constantly trying to figure out the new apps and platforms, younger adults seem to master them in a snap. Have an open mind and a willingness to learn in order to connect using technology.

  • Start a weekly or monthly video call date. Consider sending a care package of a favorite snack so you can both enjoy it on the call.
  • Use social media. Pick one platform to connect on, preferably one they are already active on. This allows you to keep up with their favorite photos, as well as social media trends that give you both something to talk about.
  • Text one another. Phone calls are wonderful but sometimes a well-timed text exchange can lift both of your spirits.
  • Play online games together. Try Words with Friends or a trivia game that you can play together, when you each have the time.
  • Cook together! Set up your video call in your respective kitchens. You can lead your grandchild through a favorite family recipe or they can take the lead and teach you a new recipe they have perfected.
  • Find a podcast you both love. You can chat about weekly episodes. Try to find a podcast that suits both of your interests.
  • Learn something new. If your grandchild is close by, ask them to come over each week or month for a visit when they can teach you about an app or technology that you’d like to learn. Giving them the chance to be the expert can be fulfilling for them and you’ll learn something new.

Connect without Tech

Of course, you don’t need to use your smartphone or tablet in order to create meaningful memories with your loved one. Here are some ideas that can inspire both of you to leave the internet out of your activities.

  • Write letters. Sure, it can feel old-fashioned, but writing a letter – and receiving a letter – is an excellent way to connect with your grandchildren. Try asking a few questions every time you write so that they have something to answer when they write back. You can also give them fancy stationery so they feel extra special when they sit down to write.
  • Get creative together. If you live near one another, try taking a pottery class or painting class together. It’s okay if neither of you consider yourself to be an artist! If you live far away from one another, try sending supplies for a project to them and you can both work on it from your own homes, checking in with one another along the way.
  • Grab coffee. Sometimes, the best conversations happen over a cup of coffee and a bagel. Try meeting up in person for a standing monthly date at your favorite coffee shop. If you live far away, try a phone call while you both sip your drinks and eat your treats.

Share Experiences

With or without the help of technology, the most meaningful connections and memories happen over shared experiences. This can be a meal, a class, a hike, or anything that the two of you can do together. Not sure where to start? Brainstorm ideas with your grandchild. This way, you can involve them in decision making and you’ll both be excited for what’s to come.

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