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Senior Moments: Good Grandparenting

(ROCKWALL, TX – September 14, 2015) The best part about having children is that they can give you grandchildren.

Now, I am not saying I didn’t enjoy my kids; it’s just that I was a very young mom who was scared of making mistakes. Their grandparents, Mema and Dado and Mimi and Grandaddy, were very instrumental in helping me raise my children. I am so thankful that my children had them in their lives.

Grandparents provide a vital relationship to their grandchildren as well as a supporting role to the parents. They are also a great source of parenting tips, especially at 2 a.m. when little Billy won’t stop crying.

A strong grandparent-grandchild bond is determined by the presence of three elements in the relationship:

  1. The child feeling a sense of emotional closeness to his grandparent.
  2. The child having regular contact with the grandparent.
  3. The child viewing his grandparent as a source of social support.

This interaction with the grandparent forms future healthy relationships with other people. The added benefit is that the grandparent gets an emotional boost being with the grandchild.

I always feel that emotional boost when I’m with my grandchildren; I am in their world and we do what they enjoy. The best vacation we ever had was taking our grandchildren to Disney World – enjoying the experience with them and seeing it through their eyes.

The greatest gift we can give our grandchildren are memories.

I have always baked cookies with my grandchildren. It is important to teach them skills. It doesn’t matter if the flour starts flying! Giggles and chocolate chip cookies are the best.

There are fun things that you can do with your grandchildren that don’t cost a lot but are meaningful. Gathering fall leaves and pasting on construction paper for a leaf mosaic or placemat for a tea party is sure to please a granddaughter. An action hero mask made of felt, ribbon and glue is sure to win the heart of any grandson and give him power to “conquer the dragons.”

When fall arrives, we always let the grandkids pick out a pumpkin and decorate it. One year we painted pumpkins after we scooped out the seeds and toasted them on a cookie sheet. My grandson reminded me about toasting the seeds. That was a memory that Nana forgot, but he remembered.

Time is a fleeting gift that you have with your grandkids. Treasure that time and build a solid bond with them while they are young. The reward will be love and memories that will pass through the generations.

A young boy was asked by his teacher “What is a grandparent?” He replied, “Everybody should try to have a grandparent, especially if you don’t have a television, because they are the only grownups who like to spend time with us. Grandparents don’t say, ‘Hurry up!’

Remember, if you don’t have grandchildren, there are children you can spend time with at the Boys and Girls Club or other afterschool programs. Volunteers are needed! So grab that baseball bat and ball or your craft box and make a difference! You can be a grandparent to someone who needs you!

Karen Straughan

By Rockwall resident Karen Straughan, Senior Real Estate Specialist. Email her at Karen@seniorschoice.net.

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