We live in a ‘smart’ age. Artificial intelligence, or AI, is changing the world as we know it and with it comes the promise to simplify just about everything. Life has never been more user-friendly.
But many people who still remember a world where household rotary phones were a luxury are feeling dumb. Their wisdom of age has become just plain old. This isn’t just how they view themselves but also how the younger generation perceive them.
One area of concern is the family bond.
Making it in the sandwich generation can be hard enough. But today’s ever-widening generation gap can also create a rupture between your elderly parents and your children. So the grandparent-grandchild relationship is at stake.
Your loved ones have much to offer to your youngsters. Hearing some learned wisdom and learning about a bygone world can teach them a lot and sharing is really good for your elders’ wellbeing too.
But how much can your dad say about his experiences fighting during World War 2 when Bobby has his face glued to a screen fending off aliens with his laser at the swipe of his thumb. And mom probably doesn’t feel like bothering Julie with ‘ancient’ memories of a close childhood friendship while the teen is busy ‘liking’ a clip of a hamster that her close buddy Melissa – who she never met – just sent her.
So how can you ‘streamline’ the environment and enhance the grandparent-grandchild relationship?
Here are two basic guidelines:
Let’s begin with the nature of the relationship.
Relationships are a process. If you want your kids and parents to have a relationship, there needs to be consistency. If the connection starts as a bi-annual phone call or a visit once every blue moon and it remains that way, don’t expect you children to feel to close.
Set a day to visit, once a week, once a month, whatever works. But make a routine out of it.
If you have a loved one at Delmar Nursing and Rehabilitation, we’re more than happy for you to come and to get to know your family personally.
This is a tough one. But it’s essential. Keep your phone on silent in your pocket. And if you can, encourage your children to leave them at home or in the car.
It’s really doable. There are even some conventions where this is standard practice.
Try it. When everyone is present you’ll be surprised how much more interesting the visit will be.
How do you promote the grandparent-grandchild relationship in your family?
Please share in the comments below.