Make bonding fun for your parents and children, alike.
Aside from enjoying your morning cup of coffee and fitting into your “skinny” jeans, probably nothing brings you more joy than watching your parents and children bond with each other. Busy schedules, distance and many other unavoidable obstacles can get into the way of this beautiful picture. Getting your kid's grandparents more involved isn't about badgering, belittling or guilt. It's about being creative and letting the bonding occur naturally through shared passions and a lot of fun.
1Plan weekly or monthly visits to your parent's home, if possible. Depending on geography, make it a point to visit you or your spouse's parents as much as possible. Let them know you're coming and get your child excited about the trip. For example, ask your preschooler if she's excited about visiting Grandpa, and taking a trip together to that fun park nearby. KidsHealth.org points out that even through the visits to far-away grandparents aren't frequent, simply planning the trip is exciting for the whole family.
2Avoid overwhelming the grandparents with unruly children. If your parents are giving you the stink eye or look mortified by rambunctious kids turning their quiet home into a three-ring circus, take the kids to the park to burn off energy and bringing them back when they're calmer and well fed.
3Harness the power of technology to keep grandparents and grandchildren connected. Set up a web camera at your parent's home and schedule weekly chats, if you're unable to visit regularly. If your parents don't know a modem from a monitor, the next time you're talking on the phone or visiting, ask them to become pen pals with your child. Help your child write letters to grandma and grandpa and send artwork and family photographs. A "Dear Grandma and Grandpa" goes a long way in making yours or hub's parents feel more involved, even if your preschooler only makes a few letters or adds some cool stick figure drawings.
4Nurture the grandparent's and grandchildren's shared passion. If your father is an avid fisherman, encourage him by asking "Hey, your grandchild also enjoys fishing, could you take her to your favorite lake?" If grandma is a skilled baker, tell her, "The kids would just love to crack eggs and help stir!"
5Start a family genealogy project together. Visit your parent's local library or historical center and hit the internet to find as much information as possible about your family's history. Give your kids crayons and paper and encourage the grandparents to create a family tree while sharing memories about their childhood, and how things are much different now.
- Don't beat yourself up if none of your efforts are successful and the grandparents aren't any very involved in your children's lives. Instead, encourage your friends, siblings, aunts and cousins to provide your children the security and love they need.