Over the next couple of weeks summer vacation from school will begin for most school-aged children. What does this mean for you and me? For many of us this means it’s time for a road trip to visit our grandchildren or they are headed our way for a week or two. If the thought of the visit stresses you out, you are not alone. Here are some pointers to help ease your nerves and make for a more enjoyable visit.
Before the visit be sure to talk to your son or daughter about their rules and routines. For example, how long are the children allowed to watch television? How long can they be online and are they allowed to play video games everyday? When is bedtime and do they take naps? What types of foods do they like to eat? Are there any allergies you should know about? By taking the time to find out these things beforehand you help pave the way for a smoother visit.
While your grandchildren are visiting, the best things you can do with them is give them your attention and try to meet them at their level. Ask them things they enjoy doing and share with them things you enjoyed doing at their age. Share with them the cost of things like bread, gasoline, bacon, milk, a loaf of bread cost when you were their age and show them the comparison to today’s prices, which is a great way to sneak in a math lesson. Family photo time is always a fun time for everyone and it’s interesting to see the reaction the children have when they see you when you were they age they are now.
If you want to get outside, find a nature trail and take a hike. Bring along a small bag to collect treasures along the trail like a special petal from a flower, an odd shaped twig or a favorite from my childhood was shiny rocks or stones. Once you return from the hike, ask the child what they liked about each item they picked up and why they thought it was special. Another favorite is a picnic in the park. Allow the children to help prepare and pack the lunch for the picnic. Take a field trip, most children have never used public transportation or taken a ride in a taxicab, even if it’s just through downtown because they are using a form of transportation they’ve never used before, plus you will score major points with your grandchild.
Cherish every moment with you spend with your grandchildren. What I’ve learned is that the older they get, the less time they have to spend with you. Take the time to build a special bond with them when they are young so that they always look forward to their visits with you.