FIRST PUBLISHED OCT. 8, 2014
Where do I begin to say what it takes to be the fun grandparents? I bonded strongly with my maternal grandma and relished any time I spent with her, and my folks were simply fantastic with our two children, so I guess it just came naturally when it was my turn to be a grandparent.
When our daughter had her first child at the age of 19, we knew we were going to be able to have a lot of energy with our grandchildren since we were only in our 40s. Bonus! My husband and I vowed to be the most fun grandparents ever! We helped raise our first granddaughter for the first 18 months of her life and we had a blast! Alas, our daughter moved out to the West Coast, so being with our grandchild a lot was not going to be possible.
Just as soon as she was old enough to be away from home for an extended period of time, our solution was to have her with us during the summer for as long as possible. Believe me when I tell you, this arrangement has been a godsend! Our son and daughter had the bounty of seeing their maternal grandparents a lot while they were growing up because we all lived in the same state. Much fun was had and many memories were made for my kids and parents, and because my daughter had such a good time with them, naturally she wanted the same thing for her children. For several years now, both of my daughter’s girls have stayed for extended visits. Not only do they get to see us, but it’s easier now to visit with all their east coast relatives as well.
So, how do we have fun with our granddaughters? You can spend a ton of money or very little at all. The most important things is to BE WITH THEM. We cannot stress this enough. Play games together, take walks through the neighborhood, go on hikes, find age-appropriate activities to engage their minds, be silly with each other (they love this and still today think their grampy is one of the silliest, goofiest people they know!), hug and cuddle a lot, and be interested in them (what they like and dislike, what captures their imaginations, what they want to be or do when they grow up, what they have accomplished at the present moment).
I begin each late winter/early spring creating a 3-ring binder of things to do, places to go, and people to see when they arrive. I am not OCD, just a wee bit extremely organized. Personally, I must do this so 1) I remember what it is I’d like to do with them and 2) to build a resource library of sorts to share with others.
In my next post, I’ll talk more about the binder. Stay tuned!