A grandparent will always have a special place in our hearts. They love to spoil their grandkids rotten, so it’s only natural that you let them be a huge part of your child’s life. But how often should your kids see grandma and grandpa?
If you’re a new parent learning how to navigate these uncharted waters in the world of parenting, continue reading to learn more about achieving the perfect balance of grandparent-to-child quality time.
In this article
- Why Should Kids Have A Good Relationship With Their Grandparents
- Is There Such A Thing As Too Much Quality Time?
- Encouraging More Time With Grandkids
- Offer For Them To Tag Along
- Take Your Children To See Them
- Factors that Determine How Often Grandparents Will Visit Their Grandchildren
- Building A Stronger Child and Grandparent Relationship
- Grandparenting While Living Long Distance
Why Should Kids Have A Good Relationship With Their Grandparents
Kids need to have a great relationship with their grandparents for many reasons. First off, they can watch your children if ever there’s a work emergency you cannot get out off immediately.
Also, they can give your children advice and wisdom that you simply cannot give yourself. Having loving grandparents also widens your child’s net of support, so they never feel alone.
Fostering this relationship will also enrich your father and mother’s lives as new grandparents. This is a new milestone in their lives, so make sure they are enjoying every second.
Is There Such A Thing As Too Much Quality Time?
Believe it or not, there is a limit to how often the grandparents should see their kids. I’d like to tell my own story as a mom of three kids. When I had my first, my mother-in-law would stop to visit constantly.
She was only 15 minutes away and wanted to lend as much help with our son as possible. Her help was greatly appreciated, but once my husband and I got our routine down, we wanted more privacy as a family of three. So, how did we break this news gently?
There are a right way and a wrong way to go about this delicate situation. We chose not to make it a big deal. We mentioned in passing how much we learned from those weeks she was with us.
We asked for her help for one more weekend. Then my husband mentioned we were ready to see how things went — just the two of us as new parents. Thankfully, she understood completely and was so supportive!
Be honest, open, and let them know that you want them to stick around for the most important moments like those ballet and clarinet recitals.
But also mention that they don’t need to be there for every diaper change. They prepared you for this special time as a parent, and now you’re ready to fly on your own.
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Encouraging More Time With Grandkids
If your parents and in-laws are the opposite, and never stop by to see the kids, implement these tips.
Offer For Them To Tag Along
If your parent or in-law doesn’t want to be left alone with your child, offer to tag along. You’ll do the parenting while they get to enjoy your son or daughter’s company. It’s a win-win for everyone!
Take Your Children To See Them
If your parents or in-laws feel uncomfortable driving, offer to drop your kids off instead to ease that burden off their backs.
Factors that Determine How Often Grandparents Will Visit Their Grandchildren
If the grandparents live in a close distance from your home, you should obviously see them as often as you can! Not many people are this lucky, so take advantage of the short distance between you.
Stop by after school to say hi so your children can tell grandpa or grandma about their day.
Your Relationship With Them
Next, consider your relationship with your parents and in-laws. If it’s strained, perhaps visit them every other holiday. It’s still important for them to have a relationship with your children.
Don’t keep them away from each other — especially if they’re displaying an interest in getting to know your kids on a deeper level.
Grandparents come in all different ages. You may have some in their forties and fifties, and other grandparents are nearing one-hundred! Their age drastically impacts what kind of activities they can do with your child.
However, just because it influences what kind of things they can do together, it does not mean that their age should get in the way. If they are on the older side of the spectrum, have them read or play board games with your children.
- Ages:4 and up, Players:2 to 4
- Fun without Words: ‘Chutes and Ladders’ is simple and easy to play, with no reading required. Be First to land on the 100 spot and win the game
- TEACHES BASIC SKILLS: Great for kids who are learning to count, this game encourages basic addition skills
- BRING BACK MEMORIES: We feature the delightful artwork of the popular 1970s edition of the game
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These activities don’t require much movement but are still enjoyable for kids of all ages.
Their Comfort Level Around Small Children
Certain older people don’t have the patience to be around a rowdy toddler, and that’s okay. If your parent is older and tires easily, consider this factor when bringing your child in for a visit.
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Perhaps limit how long you’re visiting or bringing your child when they’re a little older and can handle sitting still for a longer time.
Building A Stronger Child and Grandparent Relationship
If you’re unsure how you can help your child and parent build a rock-solid relationship, implement some of these tips and activities so they can form a bond that lasts a lifetime.
Introduce Them When They’re Young
Invite your parents to visit your child in the hospital after they’re born. These first few days of your child’s life are so precious, so don’t deny parents or in-laws the chance to meet your special little guy or gal.
It’s important to know where one comes from. Therefore, ask your parents to create a family tree with your children. This fun activity will also teach them more about their culture, heritage, and family history.
If the grandparent speaks a foreign language, ask if they’ll teach your child through weekly language lessons. Not only is this a good way for them to bond, but it will also teach your son or daughter an incredibly useful life skill.
Cooking and Mealtimes
If your parents live nearby, invite them over for dinner often. This activity can serve as a fun and interesting bonding experience for the entire family.
You can buy the groceries, have the grandparents help cook the meal, and finally clean up with the kids. Cook a dish unique to your family’s culture to turn this into an enriching learning experience.
The holidays only feel as magical as the company of the people you choose.
Ensure your parents and in-laws never feel left out. Invite them for every Easter, Christmas, Thanksgiving, or whatever special holiday your entire family celebrates!
Sleepovers with the grandparents are wonderful! Your kids will get to bake, play, and create lifelong memories with their grandpa and grandma.
You’ll also get a night off to relax before picking your children up the next morning. This is an excellent idea for your child, your parent, and your mental health.
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If your kids are dying to see their grandparents, but have a large load of schoolwork, have their grandparents help them.
This is a great way for them to bond as grandchild and grandparent, and they’ll also learn how to take on more responsibility regarding their homework.
Grandparenting While Living Long Distance
While some grandparents only live a ten or 15-minute drive away from their grandchildren, other grandparents may live across the country. Some are even across the globe!
So, how can you ensure that your kids grow up knowing who these special people in their lives are?
Set up constant video chats with the grandparents so your kids won’t ever see them as strangers.
Fly Your Parents Down
Driving to see the grandparents isn’t always the most convenient way to see them. Therefore, consider booking their flights for them to diminish the stress and spend quality time together.
Once your child is a little bit older, fly them over to meet their grandparents. What if they live in a foreign country? Even better! Your children will get so much out of the experience, even if they’re only staying for a few short weeks.
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A child’s grandparents will always have a special place in their hearts. Therefore, they must spend enough time together. Finding a good balance might seem tricky.
How often they should see each other depends on the child and grandparent. Location is also another important factor. Encourage and foster a strong relationship for an even healthier and happier family unit.
Despite the obstacles, allow your children to see them as often as possible, as long as it doesn’t impede your ability to parent.