If you are the lucky family member they refer to as “Grandma” or “Grandpa” then you have a special role in your grandchild’s life. Grandchildren often greatly look up to their grandparents but nonetheless can’t help feeling the age gap.
Here are some tips to help you prepare for longer extended visits with your grandchildren to ensure you have the best time possible and can help you have a deeper connection with your family members.
Investigate Their Interests
Find out what interest your grandchildren. You can’t assume that Spiderman is still cool, these things come and go with generations and phases pass over the years in every child. One year they will be into Barbie and the next visit they are listening to some band called The Deftones and wearing black lipstick.
Find out what they are currently interested before you go and make yourself familiar with these things, whether they are your style or not. Having a grandparents who knows a bit about their favorite band or can tell you the name of their hero’s sidekick can go a long way in the cool department. This will give you something in common and something to talk about that won’t bore them half to death.
Don’t just bring anything, an old sweater or something they liked last time you saw them. This is where the first tip in this article will come in handy. After investigating and associating yourself with the modern day youth culture whether it’s Dora The Explorer or Lady Gaga, find a suitable gift for them. Think outside of the box here.
If they are interested in a certain band, chances are they already own the cd. Be smart. Instead of buying the cd, buy them a t-shirt with the band’s logo on it. This will be a much cooler gift as they would have never expected it from the knitted sweater’s they received in the mail last Christmas.
Can’t think of a great gift idea? Here is a surefire toy that children of any age or gender will absolutely love. Purchase an RC (radio control) toy that flies like a helicopter or a dragonfly. These are a lot more fun to play with then an RC car, but if you can’t find a flying RC toy in time, cars aren’t such a bad idea either.
You can get the best deal on decent RC vehicles here at Deal Extreme ranging from $25 to $50. Order 2 weeks in advance to ensure your gift will arrive before you get there or order directly to your grandchild’s destination. Deal Extreme offers free shipping on every order so it’s something you won’t have to worry about paying extra for. My best suggestion on how to pick the right is is to read the user submitted comments, they will tell you which items are worth ordering and which products are flops.
Shop around on this site while you are there, you will never know what fun gadget you will find for extremely low discount prices. They are the best place to shop online offering wholesale prices on single items directly from Hong Kong. I personally will vouch for them and say I order from them at least 5 times a year and am always searching for deals and new products on their website. Visit Deal Extreme here now to browse their varied selection at http://www.dealextreme.com/.
Come With Activities Planned
Brew up a few ideas of fun activities that include spending time together. Depending on your location and interests, go camping, visit the local zoo, aquarium, flower conservatory, movie theater, amusement park (for the young at heart!) and bowling alley. You can be the grandparents where there is never a dull moment and they can’t wait for you to return for the next visit.
Purchase tickets before hand and show up with an array of fun and appealing activities or have the tickets waiting for you at the box office. If you already have the tickets, they can’t resist. This will give you plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy and a great chance for bonding.
Bring Your Camera
You won’t want to miss out on capturing those special moments on film. Don’t be taking pictures around the house all day. This is specifically for outings, so you both can share the special moments. Such as a hug in front of a shark in the aquarium or your cute grandchild eating some cotton candy at the zoo.
This is something you can both cherish and a great reminder of how much they miss you when you aren’t visiting. Make sure to get double copies of these photos and frame your favorite picture together and give this to them before you leave. Also, leave them with an album of all the pictures of the memories you made together so they can show their friends and look at them and reminisce all the good times, while they anticipate you’re next visit.
Always Remember To Be Yourself
Your grandchild isn’t looking for someone they don’t know or expecting you to totally act their age. They love you for you and are expecting you to be the same old lovable grandma and grandpa. So don’t get all caught up in trying to be something your not just to try to please them. You will be pleasantly surprised about how they actually are fond of your stories from the 50’s and predictable grilled cheese and milk lunch favorite.
This not only sets a good example for them, but reminds them the important life lesson to, “Just Be Yourself”. They will love you even more for it.
I hope you enjoy your next extended visit with your grandchildren and make the most of it. Cherish the moments and memories you are creating and enjoy strengthening the bond between child and grandparents. Bottom line is, “Have Fun!”.