Bonding Through Traditions with Grandchildren
If you’re a long distance grandparent who spends time with their grandkids a couple of times a year, there is no ideal solution to maintaining a close relationship. When grandparents start creating traditions with grandchildren who live far away, they share a uniquely common bond. Of course staying in touch is easier today: email, social media sites, phones, videos all serve to keep us closer. But even with all that, grandchildren grow and change so quickly that we may feel like we barely know them next time we see them. And we miss them.
Creating traditions for grandchildren and grandparents to share is one way to cement that bond long-term – a great way to provide a base or a common ground with grandchildren between periodic visits. Whether you see them monthly, yearly, or less frequently, these familiar and comfortable times together can be recreated and become stronger with each visit. We all know how awkward it can be to maintain a sharing relationship with teens – this is one strategy that provide a launch pad for conversation no matter how old they get!
My grandchildren live in Georgia, and I live in New York. During each summer visit, their Grammy (yours truly) makes a delicious and traditional Lemon Sorbet – the kind that is tart and smooth and creamy and is served inside the frozen lemon with the top on. I found the recipe online and learned to make it…it’s fun and different, and each summer I make it for them and we share it together. Simple? Yes. But they anticipate it every time, and we sit outside and enjoy it in the sun and talk. Every summer. So the experience is easy, familiar, and promotes discussion about everything they are doing, whether it be school, sports, or their friends. Priceless.
Create a tradition for your grandkids – it can be anything you like – a picnic, a movie outing, whatever you like. Just creating a consistent event where they know what to expect and have the opportunity to just be themselves pays some pretty big dividends for a long distance grandparent!