Helping grandchildren thrive

Jennifer Bonn
Jen Bonn

Being a grandparent has been wonderful for me so far, but it has also been a learning experience. I told myself I was not going to offer advice unless asked, but now my daughter tells me she wished I had offered more. I want to respect how my daughter wants to raise her son and enjoy every moment I have with him, but I know I also have a responsibility to help him become a decent human. Here are a few things I am trying to do to help him. I hope I can offer some ideas that might help you as well.

Head outside

There is something healing about being outside, and there are so many potential learning moments. Parker loves to go for rides in the stroller, so I take him out and point out everything we see in the neighborhood. He is just learning a few words, so when he hears or sees something he says the equivalent of the word he knows. When he hears a dog he says “Do!” I know the more language he hears, the quicker he will speak, so I talk a lot on our walk.

Get moving

Parker is running everywhere, so I encourage the movement. We play chase, and he loves music, so I put on songs, and we dance. When a song comes on now he runs to me with his arms up so I will dance with him.

Limit screen time

Parents are trying to do a million things, and sometimes turning on a movie is the easy fix, but as the grandparent try to be more interactive.

Problem solve

Stacking blocks, doing puzzles, doing word games, building with Legos, and cooking are all forms of problem-solving. I love watching Parker figure out how to put something together.

Social interaction

Take a trip to a park or a playground to give your grandchildren a chance to interact with other children.

Teach kindness

Even at an early age, let children see you treating people and animals well. Showing him how to care for the family pets is a good way to start.

Your role as a grandparent is a big one, but it is also so much fun to help care for the next generation. Good luck!

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I am passionate about running, parenting, education, and self-help information. I enjoy writing articles that will offer readers the information needed to help them in some way. I recently retired from teaching French and Spanish for forty years. I run every day and have done all kinds of races from 5ks to ultra-marathons. I have three children and three grandchildren. I write for several magazines in my area, I am a contributor and in charge of the Pinterest board for a parenting magazine called Screamin Mamas, and I have a second book about to be released through Loving, Healing Press called 101 Tips to Ease Your Burdens.

Kennesaw, GA

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