Happy Grandparents’ Day! I’m not sure how the first Sunday in September became Grandparents’ Day. Probably a conspiracy by Hallmark. Ha! Whatever the reason, today is a day to celebrate the grandparents in your life, be it your own or your children’s. Both of my grandparents have been gone for years as has Michael’s so we are aware of how time can be short.
If you are fortunate enough to have your children’s grandparents actively involved in their life then be thankful for your blessing. If your family is like mine then the grandparents will need some encouragement to get involved. I’m not making accusations or placing blame anywhere. Just stating the facts. Let me place a disclaimer first. If the grandparents sabotage your child’s therapy or refuse to follow rules you put down for your child with autism then all bets are off. Your number one priority is to your child.
8 Ways To Get Grandparents Involved In Your Child’s Life
- Have your child write letters or notes and mail them to Grandma or Grandpa on a regular basis. Supply the grandparents with stationery and stamps so they have no reason not to write back. You know all that artwork your child does that you don’t know what to do with? Mail it to the grandparents. Do this whether they live in town or far away.
- Give experiences for the grandparents to do with the children at gift giving time. Let’s face it. Most grandparents don’t need another trinket to clutter up their house. If you’re able , gift a fishing trip with Grampa and the boys. Have Grandma take the girls to a cooking class. Find something your child is interested in and would want to do then go buy it and gift it. Be prepared to take the child yourself if the grandparents decide to be morons and not agree to take them.
- Have the grandparents record themselves reading stories to your children. This could be simple books when the children are younger to longer chapter books when they are older.
- Take the grandparents on field trips with you. We’ve taken the grandmothers to plays with us or to local attractions. Just include them when you sign up and tell them you’ve already paid so they can’t back out. Only invite them on trips they will like! Nothing worse than a bored grandparent announcing they are bored.
- Have the grandparents stay overnight with the children while you and your spouse go away together. Plan it in advance. Have the children send letters making plans for that time in order to build anticipation. Your children get to see you place a priority on your marriage plus get dedicated time with their grandparents.
- Serve the grandparents in some way regularly. Maybe your family could be in charge of Grammy’s yard work or cleaning Nana’s house once per week. Don’t do something that competes with someone else or gets sabotaged . You must make absolutely certain that your child’s efforts are respected as well. Take that experience from me. Nothing worse than having to remind others that your children aren’t in competition with theirs no matter what they may believe.
- See the grandparents as often as your schedule and sanity will allow. Don’t see them only when you are over there to serve them. Make some visits just we were in the neighborhood so we stopped to visit. Regardless of what you do, seeing them often teaches your children that they are important members of the family.
- Call them regularly . Have the children get on the phone to tell them what’s happening at home, sports or school. Who cares what they talk about ? Just get them talking.
These are but a handful of ways that we managed to get the grandparents involved in our children’s lives. The most important point to remember is to make an effort somehow. Keep making the effort even if it’s unreciprocated. At least you will be able to rest easy knowing that you did everything possible from your end to foster that relationship. Better yet, your children will know it too!