Image by quinn.anya via Flickr
Modern families no longer have multiple generations living under one roof, so bonding between grandparents and grandchildren is even more precious during the time spent together. With such a huge generation gap, it’s important to figure out ways to get closer to children and grandchildren while being able to relate to them on some level.
The biggest difference between the generations, even between parent and child, is the technology. Advances in technology are fast-paced and that’s difficult to keep up with, even for a 40-something career parent. Don’t worry about learning everything the kids know about technology, but show interest in one or two things at a time. Ask them to teach you how to play their favorite video game or how to edit photographs with editing software. Even if you walk away feeling more confused than before, at least you had a special moment between the two of you.
Ask the grandchildren to play some of their favorite music for you and, in return, share some of your favorites. You may open them up to a world of music of which they were previously unaware. You can do the same with television shows, movies, or even magazines. Most kids are actually interested in their parents’ and grandparents’ lives, so don’t assume anything you have to say will come across as boring to them.
For grandparents that live far away, plan extended visits and fun activities. Take the kids to some place you frequented as a child, or visit their favorite playground.
Creating positive memories can encourage cross-generational communication and interest.