When grandchildren are younger, it may feel like it’s easier to connect. Their likes and dislikes can be easier to guess. They tend to be more open and talkative. You can give presents, chocolates or treat them to ice cream and feel like you instantly become their favorite family member!
But as grandkids inevitably grow up, your relationship will change. During the grandkids’ teen years, grandparents can become mentors and confidants, offering valuable support to their younger family members. A strong grandparent-grandchild relationship can provide mental health benefits to both parties, too. Grandchildren are less likely to experience depression and a grandparent’s life expectancy can increase if they have a strong relationship.
These tips will help you connect with your teenage grandchildren and create a meaningful bond that will positively impact each other’s lives.
Be Open to Changes in Grandchildren’s Behaviors and Interests
As your grandchildren grow into young adults their mannerisms, behavior and interests may change. Perhaps as a a child, your grandkid was talkative, but now they are more reserved and shy. You and your grandchild may have previously bonded over a shared hobby, but now as teenagers, this hobby may not entertain them anymore.
Changes like these may feel disconcerting and sudden, but try not to take it personally. Rather than wondering “why is my grandchild ignoring me?”, make it a fun opportunity to reestablish your bond. Be open to learning about their current interests without judgment. You might be surprised — you could learn something new and could potentially start a new, exciting hobby.
Talk to Your Grandchildren Regularly
The easiest way to strengthen your bond with your teenage grandchild is to have genuine conversations with them on a regular basis. Ask their parents or your grandkids if you can set up a time in their schedule to talk to them regularly. This shows you genuinely care and want to establish a relationship.
Some teenagers talk to their grandparents on their way home from school so they can vent about their day. Others like to talk on the weekend when their schedules are less busy. Through these regular conversations, you’ll become a trusted confidante and forge a valuable relationship with your grandchildren.
Show Up to Sports Games and Live Performances
Physical presence is just as important as regular communication. If your grandchild is part of a sports team, dance troupe or is performing in a talent show, attend in person to show your support. It will mean so much to them to see you in the audience.
Can’t attend in person because you live far away? Text your grandchild a good luck message or send a care package the day of. You can also ask your grandkids when they want you to attend.
Go on a Trip Together
Traveling together is a great way to bond with your grandchildren. You get to explore new places and see the world from their point of view. Plan a trip that’s just for you and your grandkids or during an extended family trip, schedule specific activities that allow for 1:1 time with your grandchildren.
You don’t have to hop on a plane to satisfy your grandchild’s wanderlust. Be a tourist in each other’s local communities. Research your neighborhood. Look for trendy coffee shops, boutiques, beautiful nature sites and nearby amusement parks that can interest your teenager. When exploring these places buy a trinket or souvenir for your grandchild as a memory of the fun time you shared together.
More Ideas for Spending Time Together
Looking for more ways to spend time with your grandchildren? The following are popular ideas that can help strengthen your bond with each other:
- Attend a concert or play featuring their favorite artists
- Volunteer at a local community center that caters to causes they care about
- Share funny social media posts with each other
- Explore your family tree
- Start a hobby or activity together based on their interests
The next time you speak or meet with your grandchildren, present these ideas to them. See what sparks their interest. Encourage your grandkids to take action on the next steps, whether that means they choose the concert seats or pick the volunteer activity to participate in. This shows you respect their interests and their growing independence.
Connect With Your Grandchildren at Friendship Village of South Hills
If you reside in a senior living community or are preparing to move to one soon, you can still maintain a strong bond with your grandchildren. With its fun amenities and services, senior living communities like Friendship Village of South Hills create an inviting atmosphere which our residents and their visiting grandchildren of all ages can enjoy.
At Friendship Village of South Hills, you can treat your grandchildren to the sophisticated lifestyle you enjoy everyday. Delight them with a delicious meal at our onsite dining venues, or get your hair cut or styled together at our salon. Your charming apartment can be the home base for the fun activities with your grandchildren too. Teach them your famous recipes in your right-sized kitchen, watch a classic movie in your spacious living room or during the holidays and hang up decorations together. Our housekeeping services will tidy your apartment while you focus on bonding with your grandkids.
Interested in the Friendship Village of South Hills lifestyle? Contact us to learn more.