My parents have always lived close to my grandparents. My mom’s parents were just 3 miles away and my dad’s parents just 15 miles, so we spent many days (and some nights) visiting them as I grew up. Now I wasn’t homeschooled, but I do know the importance of grandparents in the life of a child. And now that we don’t live near grandparents, my children miss that one-on-one interaction. However, that doesn’t mean they can’t be involved!
Grandparents play a special role in our lives. They are nurturers, adventurers, teachers, wise confidants, our biggest cheerleaders and so much more. I have seen the difference in children who have active grandparents and those who don’t.
What if they don’t live close?
They don’t have to live close, at least not anymore. With all the technological advances, you can talk to them just like they were in the room! My grandpa gives the great-grandkids a gold dollar every time they lose a tooth. It is a special treat he has saved up for, for many years. He finds it fun and the kids love “getting gold”.
So now when they lose a tooth, we have a video chat! They love being able to show the “gaping hole” in their mouth and he gets excited with each one, just like it was their first. It warms my heart so much to see the love they have for each other, even from miles away.
5 Ways to Get Grandparents Involved
Video Chats – As I mentioned above, my kids love to video chat with my grandparents (their great-grandparents) as well as their own grandparents (our parents). Now that we travel, they love to see where we are, what we’ve done and just see the kids’ faces. Technology can be frustrating, but when it works…it is so wonderful. Since we don’t have Apple products (don’t hate me), we love using the Facebook Messenger Video Chat option. It works well for us and everyone has it!
Weekly Phone Calls – We do have two grandparents that does not utilize technology, so we try to make weekly phone calls – or at the very least every other week. This gives the kids a chance to talk to them and tell them what they’ve been doing. Our grandparents love it and it is a great way to keep them connected.
Pen Pals – If you have older kids and you live far away from grandparents, another means of communication is to make them pen pals. I love doing this! It improves my children’s handwriting and written communication (score one for creative homeschooling) as well as gives my grandparents a chance to write letters, which they love.
Field Trips – If you are blessed to live close enough, or even when they come to visit, take your grandparents along on a field trip! My grandparents have gone to the Zoo with us on several occasions and we’ve taken trips to area historical sites when we lived full-time in Indiana. The kids loved showing them around our area and my grandparents loved seeing the history. It brought out so many stories of their own childhood – some of which I had never even heard! It was so fun.
Have them teach – This is my favorite part! Whenever grandparents visit, they love to tell stories. Why not have them turn those stories in to lessons? Did they live through The Great Depression? Did they fight in World War II or Vietnam? What was it like growing up on a farm? Many times just having them tell about their life will turn in to a lesson all its own! This is probably my kids’ favorite lessons. They love the stories and it literally makes history come to life!
Some of you may not have grandparents close or even alive anymore and for that I am sorry. However, I encourage you to find older adults in your area or church that do live close and invest in their lives. We have had many surrogate grandparents in our own children’s lives, whom we are still close to even after moving. They can fill a void in your family’s life just as much as you can in theirs.
Grandparents Day is traditionally the Sunday after Labor Day. How will you celebrate?
Celebrating the grandparents in your life doesn’t have to be elaborate or expensive. You do anything from spending time with them over a special meal to reading a story together, coloring pictures and more. I also have several Grandparents Day printables you can choose from. They would make a great gift to Grandparents or those who have invested in your children’s lives. Simply download, print and share!