Creating Memories with (Great) Grandmother

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As members of a sandwich generation, taking care of both children and parents, many people have a lot on their plates today. Still, making sure children keep up a relationship with the older generation is entirely possible. Without a lot of effort, you can help build mutually beneficial relationships between your children and your parents or grandparents.

If you live close by, of course your job is easier. Try to build a weekly visit into your schedule. On the way over, discuss with your child(ren) what Grandma might enjoy discussing. If the child is going to see a situation that may need some explaining, make sure to take care of that delicately, and prior to your arrival. Children are amazingly understanding and adaptable and it may even bother them less than you to see any medical apparatus that has been set up. Additionally, a weekly phone call may be in order. Try to hang a clearly-labeled photo of your child next to Grandma’s telephone to help her remember who’s who, especially if there are numerous grandchildren. It may be easier to suggest your child phone her grandparent specifically when something of note comes up, such as a good score on a test or a winning baseball game.

Living farther away does present its challenges, but these challenges are absolutely surmountable. If there’s any way of setting up a simple, low-gadgetry webcam system between your children and parents, that can work almost as well as a visit. You may want to plan the time and date of your virtual visit in advance to make sure that neither side is let down by what may be perceived as a no-show by the calling party. Additionally, plain old-fashioned telephone calls, as described in the previous paragraph, can help a lot with keeping in touch. Also fun is creating picture packages, containing photos, drawings and letters and sending them via the postal system. Even if the grandparent doesn’t acknowledge their arrival, keep up the encouragement as this sets a fantastic habit for children of all ages to care for others.

Keeping in touch with the older generation gives your child a sense of roots and place in the world. It also teaches compassion and respect. Children do remember these moments and they serve as an example to pass on to their next generation.

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