Building Relations with your Grandkids

May 08
Recently I talked with a long time customer Mary J. from Chicago, IL. She placed a reordered for some cherry juice and some dried cherries. Mary said the cherry juice was for her and the dried cherries where for her granddaughter. Her granddaughter loves the dried cherries mixed with cashews, peanuts and M & M’s. Mary said she wanted to surprise her with her favorite snack. [caption id="attachment_2958" align="alignleft" width="218"]Smiling grandparents with granddaughter Smiling grandparents with granddaughter[/caption] She mentioned that her grandkids were visiting her for Mother’s Day. During the call she told me that since her son and his wife moved way several years ago, she only sees them a few times a year, so she is very excited about this coming weekend. After I hung up the phone, I started thinking how important my grandparents were to me during my younger years. So I wanted to pass along some of the wisdom I learned from my grandparents on building relations with your grandkids.

THE IMPORTANCE OF GRANDPARENTS

I was blessed with the presence of my grandparents throughout my childhood as they played a critical role. As I think back, I still remember the special time we spent together. Picking apples in the orchard, baking in the kitchen and most importantly the wisdom they bestowed upon me. Of course, being young, I didn’t fully appreciate everything being offered at time, but now I do. A Link to the Past: Grandparents are great historians. They can share about the times before the grandkids where born. It was a time without mobiles phones and computers. This helps the younger generation understand the passing of time, family history and traditions. In addition, by sharing stories from the pasts, grandkids and get a sense of where they come from. A Friend: Being a parent, the first thing you learn is as your own kids get older, you a “not their friend”. For many parents, it can be a hard lesson to grasp, because you want to be your kids buddy. However, as a grandparent you can enjoy a special relationship with your grandkids of being a friend. A grandparent is someone they can laugh with, reveal stuff they only tell their friends, tell jokes and simply spend time. A Confidante: Of course, the grandkids talk with their parents about things and you can be the confidante for things they can’t talk to their parents. As a family member, you can listen to the problem, discuss the problem and tell the truth to them about the situation they are worried about. However, don’t take on the role of the co-conspirator. Before you discuss anything let them know the ground rules. Tell them you will listen to their secrets, provide honest feedback and will keep their secrets. However, if what they tell will endanger their safety or their health, you will have to share it. A Mentor and Teacher: You have “been there” where they are, so you can help guide them as they face the different stages of life. You can offer insight and wisdom. A Family: If the parents of your grandchild are divorced or they are an only child, interaction with other family members is a longing. As grandparents, you can provide them with “another family” member to fill the void and offer safe haven. Share the importance of family and how important is it to interact with those who love you. This wisdom was passed from my grandparents and their guidance helped me through my younger years and their wisdom stills guide me today. I would love to read your comments and thoughts on this post.

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