Treasuring Grandparents

Grandparents’ Day falls on Sunday, September 9th this year. Now I’m not going to tell you to go out and buy a card and send flowers to recognize the importance grandparents play in your children’s lives. Rather, let’s use a little creativity to show them how special they are.

With the proliferation of blended families these days, it can sometimes be confusing trying to keep track of all the grandparents in your family. Make an illustrated family tree, filled with photographs, to help young children learn about the relationships in your family. If you’re lucky enough to live close by, then throw a party for all of them. Have the kids stage a silly play or a puppet show for entertainment, and serve cake and ice cream and other fun desserts.

grandparents dayFamilies that may have only one or two grandparents living close by can also make a fuss. Or they can use the time for a special one-on-one get-together. Use the day to commemorate the great wisdom of grandparents by encouraging them to share their favorite hobby with the grandchildren. If you need to tag along, try to remain a bystander, snapping priceless photographs of your little one’s first fishing trip with Grandpa.

For those that live far away, a little advance planning may be in order. Grandchildren can use first-day-of-school and summer vacation pictures to make a photo collage to send to their grandparents. And make sure to include photos of their most recent get-together, with big smiling faces. You could also have older children make their own videotape to commemorate the occasion, then have copies made to send to all the grandparents, near and far.

If you’ve totally forgotten and are stuck for a quick idea, your computer can bail you out, as long as the grandparents also have email. There are tons of sites on the internet that will send customized e-greetings, some for free, with special designs created especially for Grandparents Day. If you have a scanner, you could scan in some of your little darlings’ latest work of art, or a poem written especially for the occasion, and send it by email.

Last, but not least, nothing beats a good old-fashioned phone call. Make sure your younger children practice speaking clearly (and loudly for any hard-of-hearing nana’s and poppa’s) and if you have a few noisemakers in your house, keep them in a separate room while each one is speaking to reduce distracting background noise. Or you could round them all up and have them sing a silly song into the phone.

For those that have no grandparents, or who just have room in their hearts for more, a call to your local nursing or retirement home or senior center is sure to turn up a grandparent who may be available for “adoption.” Or get a group of children together and put on a back yard talent show for the seniors in your community.

The relationships between generations can be very enriching for young and old alike. What’s most important is to make the grandparents feel special, and let them know how important they are in their grandchildren’s lives. It’s Grandparents Day, and they have earned it.

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Patti Hermes

Patti Hermes, Parent to Parent, is living the dream with her high school sweetheart, raising their boys in the Midwest because it's a good starting point for epic road trips. While writing, reading and homeschooling take up most of her time, she still blogs at HermesParent to ParentParenting,PoetryTreasuring Grandparents by Patti Hermes Grandparents' Day falls on Sunday, September 9th this year. Now I'm not going to tell you to go out and buy a card and send flowers to recognize the importance grandparents play in your children's lives. Rather, let's use a little creativity to show them...Parenting Advice| Family Fun Activities for Kids