My grandparents rocked in my eyes – my grands were grand. They played games with me, sang to me, shared with me, hugged me – they were grand people. They told me about my parents being a child – something I couldn’t imagine as a young child.
The one great-grandmother who I had the pleasure of knowing was the only adult who made me lemon lime Kool-aid with the whole cup of sugar. She had a parakeet – Joe Bird, who sat on her shoulder, pulling the needle through when she hem-stitched. I have wonderful early childhood memories of the family farm with a cistern and a three seater out-house. (Hey, I visited in the spring and summer so an out-house wasn’t as negative an experience as it would have been in the dead of winter.)
That isn’t saying they were perfect. They were grand folks to know. They helped me understand myself and the world around me.
I also adopted a couple as additional grandparents. When I was about three we moved to Hammond, IN. A couple at church had the same last name as my dad’s parents. Immediately, I decided they, too, where Grandma & Grandpa. Luckily, they were game for this. And, their teenage sons loved to take me to fairs and to play games with me. These grands were grand.
All these people and many others come to mind on Grandparents Day (September 9, 2012).
Hopefully, my intergenerational posts speak volumes about sharing with grandfriends or grandparents. And, that there are lots of things you can find to do with them. Yet, I wanted to share a few Grandparent’s Day ideas with you. Feel free to use them any day you want a grand to feel grand.
For those facilitating grand and child interactions here are a few tips.
1. Be aware of the challenges the grand is experiencing. Health issues and assistive devices can impact interactions. Tolerance of extended interaction might be less. Realize hearing aids tend to amplify all sounds so speaking one at a time can ease challenges.
And, children may also have concerns. A child may wonder about a tube under the grands nose. They might think of canes or wheelchairs as toys. Realize that when you wear a hearing aid, background noise especially voices can be an issue. Depending on the age of the child, you can find ways to make this a positive interaction for all. Answer a child’s question about devices in a respectful manner.
2. Remember, we all have abilities or strengths. Even a baby has an ability. Build on the ability. If both the grand and the child are active find something active they can do together.
3. Have a plan B and maybe a plan C. All of us have good and bad days. Weather can change. Have a couple of alternatives ready should there be a need.
4. Try not to sweat it. Don’t try to make it a perfect visit – try to make it a visit that has a memorable moment or two. Worrying will not improve the situation. And, remember the grands and the children don’t need to spend the whole time together to make it a positive.
5. Consider taking a photo or journaling about the time together. It helps hold that memory for years to come.
Some families love to share music in preparation for getting together or to share when they are together.
These are some songs about grandparents:
- Grandma’s Feather Bed (John Denver)
- A Song For Grandma and Grandpa (Johnny Prill)
- Mountain Music (Alabama)
- Grandpa (The Judds)
- Grandad (Clive Dunn)
- In Color (Jamey Johnson)
Granparents.com has a few fun parody songs for the day for those who enjoy sharing songs:
For those into newer tunes, check out this grandparent version of “Call Me Maybe”:
*Looking for more ideas to assist in these intergenerational relationships? Click here to sign up for Bright Ideas – a FREE newsletter of ideas that comes out twice a month.