As grandparents we all want to make the most of the precious family time we get to spend with our grandchildren. You can create deep, loving relationships with your grandchildren by sharing the things you love and by learning about what excites them. Whether you’re a full-time grandparent, a step-grandparent, or a long distance grandparent living thousands of miles away, you can find new ways to strengthen family ties and provide your grandchildren with joyful memories and valuable life lessons.

What’s so grand about being a grandparent?

In no particular order, grandparenting is an opportunity to play, to love someone new, to appreciate the magic of a developing mind, and to be needed by someone again. Grandparents can:

  1. Share the things they’re passionate about with a new audience.
  2. See the world in a new way through younger eyes.
  3. Experience games, music, nature, reading, and other interests in conjunction with a curious young mind.
  4. Provide expanded support and encouragement to their grandchildren.
  5. Use their breadth of experience to avoid the pitfalls they may have encountered as parents the first time around.
  6. Watch children develop through all stages of growth.
  7. Learn about their grandkids’ music and passions.
  8. Provide input that parents cannot.

Usually, grandparents have the benefit of interacting on a level that is once removed from the day-to-day responsibilities of parents. This can make it easier to develop a close bond with grandchildren. From near or far, grandparenting can provide continuity in a child’s life. Grandparents are often the family historians, and can add a rich sense of family tradition to a child’s life. Additionally, contact with grandparents can teach children positive attitudes towards aging and help them develop skills to enhance their own lifelong learning.

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How to Be a Better Grandparent: Tips on Building Great Relationships with your Grandkids