Magazine article Work & Family Life

Making Memories with Your Grandkids

Magazine article Work & Family Life

Making Memories with Your Grandkids

Article excerpt

None of us will be moving into the White House. Nonetheless, like Marian Robinson, Malia and Sasha Obama's grandmother, we can fill our grandchildren's memory banks and strengthen our connections to them whether we provide hugs and love, our undivided attention, ad\'entures or know-how. Everything we do with our grandchildren grows the relationship. More often than not, it is the small efforts that brings you closer.

Take advantage of every opportunity to connect. If something is important to your grandchild, make it important to you. Listen to what he or she has to say without asking too many questions. Eventually, you will hear the key message and it just might be "I love you."

* Devise an affectionate, clever name for each grandchild. Whether it's "Bob-cat" or "Anna Banana," its regular use will become part of family

* Develop a trademark kiss unique for each grandchild. Two pecks on the tip ofthe nose, one peck on each cheek, one long, two short kisses on the forehead.

* Invent a silent symbol of your connection to your grandchild: for example, thumbs up, quiet clapping, the peace sign, a wink, or a gentle tug on an earlobe.

* Ask for your grandchild's help - to bake a cake, rake the leaves, or build a birdhouse. Children like to be useful. It makes them feel important and special.

* Have your grandchild teach you dance steps, a karate move or how to do something on the computer.

* When you're taking family photos, hand o\'er the camera to your grandchild to take a few pictures. Using an adult's camera is serious business and the pictures are a reminder of that privilege.

* Tell grandkids stories about your childhood. Children especially enjoy hearing about incidents in which you were embarrassed or did something "silly" or "stupid."

* Start a tradition. Pass along to your grandchildren objects that belonged to their parents: a favorite cereal bowl, a blanket, a high school letter sweater, books, or a vacation scrapbook. …

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