Ten Ways to Make Your Grandchild Feel Loved
(And You Don’t Need to Spend a Penny!)
It’s important to tell people you love them. Those three words are more difficult to say for some people, but when it comes to saying them to grandchildren, even the most curmudgeonly usually can’t resist. As essential as the words may be, showing people love is also important. In addition to saying the words, “I love you,” there are also other ways to make grandchildren feel cherished, adored, and loved. The great news, it doesn’t cost a penny!
Time is our most precious commodity, a fact that becomes more obvious as we become older. Spending time with your grandchild is a great way to show your love. Giving them undivided attention and focusing on them, even if it has to be done via Facetime or Skype, is a precious gift!
We love to have Callister over for once-a-month sleepovers!
Children love it when you get down to their level and play their games. My daughters have wonderful memories of their 80-year-old grandfather sitting on the floor playing imaginary games with them and their little animal figurines. My husband is especially good at this with our grandson. A big kid himself, he loves to sit on the floor and play with trucks and build towers with Legos.
I’m not sure who is having more fun.
Reading together is a great way to bond. For young kids, it can be a snuggle time also; they learn to associate reading with positive affection. Some of my happiest moments as a grandmother have been when Callister brings me a book and crawls into my lap to read. Building a love of reading is a gift that will benefit your grandchild for the rest of their lives.
4. Go to their activities
What kid wouldn’t love to look into the audience and see their grandparents there to cheer them on at sporting events, recitals and performances? It says their interests and activities are important.
5. Give specific praise
We all love to feel acknowledged and have our accomplishments praised, but it feels even better when the praise is specific. Rather than just saying “good job,” try saying, “I like how nicely you stacked the blocks” or one I seem to say frequently, “I love how gently you pet the cat.”
He loves to pet the cat and has learned to be very gentle.
6. Say their name
This seems like such a simple thing, but research shows people react positively to hearing their name said. Scientific studies show brain activation in specific regions when a person hears their name. In layman’s terms, children feel special and loved when their name is said.
7. Light up when they come into the room
This one comes naturally to me when I see my grandson, I am thrilled to see him! I show my love through an excited voice and a big smile! I have one friend who always greets me as if I’m the best thing that’s happened that day, it makes me feel loved. I want my grandchild to have the feeling of being the bright spot of my world!
8. Physical affection
This one can be tricky; some kids don’t want to be hugged, and I firmly believe children should have the power to decide who touches them. I ask my grandson if he wants a hug or a fist bump, giving him a sense of autonomy over his body.
Sometimes we get so busy talking at kids, thinking we’re imparting the wisdom of our many years, that we forget to listen. Ask questions about their lives that go beyond the standard “How is school going?” question kids dread. Click on this link for some great questions to ask kids. Be fully present, make eye contact, put your phone down, and listen without interrupting or judging.
He loves to tell us stories and although we can’t understand every word, he has our undivided attention!
10. Write letters
Yes, this is coming from a writer, but I have valid reasons for recommending putting your love in writing. Kids love getting little notes of love in their lunchbox. They get excited when receiving a real snail mail letter. One thing I’m hoping I can follow through with is writing a letter to him on his birthday every year until he’s eighteen. This is going to sound morbid, but the reality is we will eventually be gone, and it would be lovely for our grandchildren to have written words of love to remember their grandparents’ unconditional love for them.
We all speak a different language of love, but these suggestions are fairly good bets to hit the mark with your grandkids. There’s a special relationship between grandparents and grandchildren, an unconditional love different from other relationships. Loving your grandchildren is an easy assignment and in doing so, you’re creating a bond that lasts beyond your lifetime.
Nobody can do for little children what grandparents can do. Grandparents sort of sprinkle stardust over the lives of little children. — Alex Haley