Creative Child

Fostering Your Children’s Important Bond with Their Grandparents

by Sarah Lyons

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Allow your kids to be spoiled a little

My kids know that when they spend the night with my parents, they will have donuts for breakfast the next morning. They can also count on any number of sweet treats while they are visiting. When their birthday comes around, they usually get spoiled by gifts from their grandparents as well. At home, sweet treats are limited, toys are purchased on occasion, and donuts for breakfast are not the norm. While I may be cringing at the sugar induced coma that my kids will be in when they come back home, the kids feel a closeness to their grandparents for allowing them to have a few extra treats. They feel like they share a secret, that really isn’t a secret at all, with their grandparents and it goes a long way to strengthening their bond. That, to me, is worth allowing a few extra treats from their grandparents on occasion.

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Set limits

All of these things can help build the grandparent-grandchild bond but if the parents are not comfortable with what is going on, it will end up creating anger, resentment, and end up hurting the relationship between the grandchildren and their grandparents in the long run. Set limits that everyone understands and can live with. For example, it is okay for grandparents to break the rules and let the kids have ice cream for dinner but it is not okay for them to ride in the car without a car seat. Make sure that your child and the grandparents know what your unbreakable rules are so that everyone is on the same page.

Grandparents are important because they have life experience and love to share them with their grandchildren. They have the opportunity to share their love and time without the pressures parents face in raising children. If your kids are lucky enough to have grandparents in their lives, foster and encourage them to build their relationship as much as possible. Your kids will cherish the memories for their lifetime.

Sarah Lyons is a stay at home wife and mother of six children, including 18 month old triplets. Using creative consequences with her kids has improved their behavior and encourages healthy relationships with each other.

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