If you and I were to have a conversation of any length, I can promise that it would not take long for me to begin talking about my grandparents . What I considered so normal I now realize was very unique. And I want that special bond for my children.
Author Laura Sassi understands the opportunity that grandparents hold with their grandchildren and wrote the book LOVE IS KIND to celebrate it. And today she is sharing five ideas to help build that precious bond.
LOVE IS KIND celebrates the precious bond between little ones and their grands. It’s Little Owl’s love for his grammy that sets the story in motion… and it’s Grammy’s love for him that brings the story to a cozy resolution.
I love that Little Owl and his grammy have such a sweet relationship, because it reminds me of the special bond I shared with each of my grandmothers. I didn’t call either of them Grammy, but I most certainly shared a special connection with each that I treasure to this day. In fact, I dedicated the book to them!
Now in celebration of LOVE IS KIND and intergenerational bonding – not just with grandparents – but with older friends and relatives as well, here are five ideas for building special bonds between old and young. Happy bonding!
Idea #1: Make special time with the grands a weekly tradition.
Little Owl loves spending time with his grammy and that’s how special relationships are grown. As a child I lived a day’s drive (at the closest) and a transatlantic flight (at the farthest) from my grandparents. However, my parents made sure we spent several weeks together each year. And in between, we wrote each other notes and chatted over the phone. And with today’s technology, it’s even easier to stay connected across the miles. So, why not start early and establish something special with the grands each week.
Idea #2: Share memories of times you connected with your own grands.
From a very young age, I knew that the bond with a grandparent was something special and something to be treasured. And how did I know this? I knew because my mother and grandmother loved to tell stories about the special things they had done as children with their grands. Those stories provided countless hours of merriment – which not only strengthened our special bond, but also planted in me the desire – through story – to plant seeds of longing in my own children’s hearts to be connected with their grandparents and other older relatives and friends.
Idea #3: Look for opportunities to demonstrate love in tangible ways.
Little Owl spread love in concrete ways throughout LOVE IS KIND and that’s what little ones do best! So what better way to build a special bond across generations than to have your little one make or do something special for an older person they know. Bake and deliver cookies. Make and send a card. Or just help a neighbor, older relative, or grandparent with a chore – such as raking leaves or organizing pictures for a scrap book. Any and all are perfect opportunities to plant seeds of empathy and love across generations.
Idea #4: Provide opportunities to interact with older folks.
From the time I was little, my parents and grandmother always insisted that I take part in gatherings with their grown up friends. I was to shake hands and converse with each guest. I soon became comfortable with interacting with people of all ages. I also remember visiting my grandfather in the nursing home and taking time to say hello to the other residents as well. This interacting across generations is a practice I’m continuing with my own children. And my dad, age 78, is doing his part too – by being deliberate about interacting with younger folks through mentoring and taking college classes etc. It’s very easy in our busy culture to just keep company with others at the same life stage as we are, but what a blessing it is for our kids, and for us too, when we are intentional about reaching beyond those perimeters.
Idea #5: Celebrate the joy of being human…together!
When I was 10 years old, my grandmother said something to me that made us connect in a special new way. “Laura, honey,” she said, “sometimes when I look in the mirror, I say to myself, who’s that woman looking back at me because on the inside I still feel 10!” What she was talking about, of course, was her soul, which is ageless. Now at age 50 – I can attest that she is right. But a small child looking at someone like me – or my grandmother – of course thinks we are ancient! However, if as parents and grandparents, we convey to our kids that no matter what our age, our souls remain as vibrant as ever (and that on the inside we are all still kids at heart) I think we’ll help bridge a connection that transcends age and outward appearances. And a good way to set this in motion is to spend time together. (See idea #1, #2, #3 and #4!)
Enter to win this precious book by clicking on the rectangular image or link below. This giveaway will end on Monday, February 18th @ 12:00 p.m (CST). The winner will be announced the next day on this blog, so be sure to come back and see if you have won!
Thank you to Zonderkidz and Laura Sassi for this giveaway opportunity.