In most relationships, you can’t make up for lost time.
You see this with parents who were absent or made big mistakes. They feel guilty and want to make things right, so they overdo it with wild extravaganzas for their kids.
It’s similar with some grandparents. Maybe you’ve made mistakes as a parent, and you’re trying to be a better grandparent. Or you don’t see your grandkids very often, and you want to make sure they like you and feel special. Too often, that leads to going overboard and spoiling them like crazy. Maybe you take them on vacations to incredible places or spend a day at an amusement park or go to sporting events. You think incredible experiences together are the path to a better relationship. And those can be beneficial in some cases.
The desire to connect more with your grandkids is a good thing, but usually a better approach is steady, consistent, positive day-to-day interactions.
I hope you view every moment with a grandchild as a chance for quality time. If you’re really present with them, really paying attention and investing yourself, then reading a book or doing a puzzle, watching a sunset or even talking on the phone can be fantastic bonding times with your grands.
Whenever you’re with your grandchildren, that’s a valuable opportunity you probably don’t get every day. Just like with your own children, they grow up and change faster than you realize.
To get more practical, here are three ways to build a stronger bond with your grandkids. (And I’m sure many of you already do some of these.)
- When you see or interact with your grandchild, make sure the first thing you say is positive. A word of blessing or encouragement can really set the tone and create positive expectations. (Of course, the last words from you should be positive as well.)
- Engage your grandchildren in their areas of interest—not yours or those of other family members. This is a great way to build your own unique relationship and make your grandchild feel special for who he or she is.
- Verbalize your commitment to them, and then make every effort to keep your promises and not get sidetracked by other interests.
See, even during everyday interactions, if you’re fully engaged, you can make all kinds of moments incredible.
What’s the best way you found to bond with your grandkids? Please share what works for you on our Facebook page. Chances are, your insights will help other grandparents.