Modern-day family dynamics leave little room for interaction with the most senior of family members. It is tragic in a sense because those are often the relationships that are unsurpassed in so many ways. Children and their grandparents generally enjoy an instinctive bond unlike any other interfamilial connection, even though they are generations apart. As much as growing old is a part of life for those of us lucky enough to live that long, it can still be worrisome. The greatest fear many an aging individual have is the fact that their self-worth and purpose within the family will diminish as they get older.
Bonding with elderly family members should not be a daunting task. Children often feel uneasy around their frail grandparents, especially if they reside in assisted living facilities away from the family. It is important to assist the younger generation to see their grandparents not just as the aged, fragile people they see in front of them but rather as the young and vivacious individuals they used to be.
Ways to Bond With the Elderly
There are no set rules on how to effectively bond with your family but the following guidelines might be a source of inspiration:
- Enjoy crafts together – Grandparents often boast a host of skills such as crocheting and woodwork that can be passed on to the grandchildren. The elders feel a sense of worth passing on their knowledge and the children learn something new while spending time with their loved ones.
- Spend time talking – If the grandparents are frail or live in facilities where they are cared for it might not be possible to engage in certain activities. You will be amazed at how much pleasure can be derived from having simple conversations. If the grandparents are still sound of mind they can share a world of knowledge with the younger generations by telling tales of their younger days. Building puzzles together or reading from favorites works of literature can be rewarding for young and old alike.
- Provide the building blocks – Sadly not all grandparents are of a sound mental state and this can prove to be both confusing and upsetting for children to see. Share a bit of their history with the kids and encourage the children to read to them or talk to them about their everyday lives.
Although the above mentioned are nice ideas to boost family bonding it does not always have to take on the form of planned activities. Nothing is more important than showing your love to your family each and every day. Treasure each other, share memories and continue to make new ones while you still have the opportunity to do so.