One thing today’s children don’t get enough of is time with their grandparents. In our global economy and due to a high divorce rate, grandparents and grandchildren are too frequently far apart. The love, support and emotional bond from grandparents to grandchildren is unlike any other relationship and should be encouraged whenever possible.
Grandparents are very good at teaching and instilling values. They do so with more patience than the parents and it helps makes them special.
Sometimes though, grandparents too can use a little brain boost. Getting older sometimes means losing cognitive ability, especially if too much time is spent alone.
Did you know there are ways to increase cognitive skills in both grandparents and grandchildren while increasing the relationship bond? Further, did you know there are apps for that? Explore the benefits of brain training games for both you and your grandchildren and how you can apply these principles to your bonding time.
Although today’s grandparents grew up without the latest technology, it was their generation that added the building blocks to what became the world wide web. Just because they seem baffled by touch screens doesn’t mean that they’re unable to catch on and enjoy the use of tablets or laptops. In fact, thanks to technology and social media, grandparents are engaging more than ever with their grandkids, even from great distances.
Multi-generational brain-training may begin with game apps on tablets. Apps such as online Sudoku or Luminosity Brain Training Programs enable one generation to stay sharp while helping the other learn.
Go old-school and pull out the flash cards. This is a tried and true method of increasing memory while helping young minds learn new words, numbers, shapes, color and more.
Visit your grandchild’s room and play games. Line a few toys up and have young Susie look at them for a few seconds and then turn around. Remove a toy and hide it leaving Susie to guess which one is gone.
Make something special to eat with your grandkids. Keep it simple for young ones but don’t be afraid to pull out that old fashioned coconut cake recipe for the older kids. Believe me, they will appreciate it, if not now, later.
Do things their parents don’t have time for. Create a scavenger hunt or go for a walk in the neighborhood where you raised their parents. Tell them stories about what life was like then and what may be different today. Take them to The National Museum of Australia showing Australia’s social history through interactive stories about events that shaped the nation. Take them away with you. There are plenty of kid-friendly places offering school holiday deals.
You may not be able to play ball like you did 25 years ago but you can still coach. Coaching a soccer or swim team is a sure way to engage actively with your grandkids. Bonus benefits include getting to know their friends, watching their skills improve and knowing you played an important part in that. Being around people of various ages helps the mind stay sharp as well. Why get stuck in a rut with other people just like yourself when there is a grandchild in the world who needs you?
Teach your grandchildren useful skills. Youngsters don’t have a clue what you bring to the table unless you show them. If you can play the piano, teach your grandchild something about it. Sewing, embroidery, fishing, woodwork, painting and numerous other skills should be passed onto the youngest generation. If YouTube is the only thing that holds their interest, make a video. It’s not that difficult.
Children with a close relationship to their grandparents tend to develop excellent communication skills. Those who mainly spend time with other kids of the same age typically don’t want to communicate outside those parameters. The better a child communicates in the early years, the more skilled he or she will be later in life. Good communication skills go a long way toward making outstanding leaders.
The main thing is not to take the relationship with your grandkids lightly. Yes, you get to spoil them and love them in a way that nobody else can replicate. But why not go the extra mile and ensure the time you spend with them is as beneficial as possible? Believe me, investing in your grandkids in this manner will reap benefits into the generations to follow. That is a legacy worth leaving behind.