Becoming Buddies with your Grandkids

This post is taken from an edited journal entry reflecting on the kind of relationship I would like to have with my grandkids, if I’m blessed to reach the mighty, fine age.

While the goal of this exercise is to render a map for developing a meaningful relationship the ‘youths’, I hope it can shed some light for readers looking to bond with family across generations. At an ambitious age, relationship-building is relatively easy; relationships are constantly being built, developed and maintained. When older, the relationship-building pizzazz, I believe, tends to wilt as the number of bonds diminishes in number yet grows in strength.

In this post, we’ll go over how to become buddies with your grandchildren and conclude with why it’s important.

For easier reading, let’s assume ‘they’ are the grandchildren and ‘you’ are the grandparent.

The How

Find out who they are — What are their interests? Who are their best friends? Who are their sworn enemies? (Swear an allegiance as a matter of family honour demarcating friends from foes) Who do they like, and why? Capture their slang and use it! Exchange perspectives on life.

Unsolicitedly share stories of your youth — Oh the brilliant and good times and oh the tragedies & embarrasments! Add spice if you must to get their attention. For further proof, show them the marks of adventure and trouble. Prompt them to share stories of their mischief — depending on the case, admire the trick or suggest a better method.

Appreciate them — Take them out for dinner & movies every six months — at a minimum.

Fill them in on the BIG FAMILY SECRET of the date of your birthday, and make sure to send them your love on theirs.

Discover anew their hobbies — give a good shot at what they spend a lot of their time on. On one hand, you very well might be a natural. On the other, you just may fail miserably but you tried — and that’s an experience of itself.

Share your hobbies with them. Encourage every action. If you must, tell them they have an ‘inherited’ knack for it. It’s OK if they pick the new hobby up, and equally OK if they don’t.

Why Go the Distance

i. You need a new crowd and what better company than cool kids who are family?

ii. They’re waiting for you to make the start.

iii. There’s a lot to learn from their fresh and unblemished perspective. You have wisdom from your many years of practice in the dojo of life.

iv. It’s why you came this far.

Thanks for reading!

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