In the same way that having a child makes you feel whole, seeing your second generation come into this world fills a part of you and makes you feel even more complete. It feels so natural that you might not even notice the effect the relationship you’re building has on your grandchild. Studies have shown that close relationships between grandparents and your grandkids not only helps them tackle life’s difficult challenges, but it will help them become stronger emotionally and able to handle tough situations. More than just “being close”, you must participate in many different activities with your grandkids in order to develop these bonds. It’s important to be on their level, and participate in the things they like, to show your investment in their future.
Reading together from day one is incredibly important because they will not only develop literacy skills, but children’s books are an excellent way to have an activity you can do together that focuses on the things they are interested in.
In diverse families that have several different cultures and backgrounds, it’s more important than ever to have every grandparent involved with their grandchildren. Not only do the relationships between the generations strengthen the family bond as a whole, but children that are exposed to multiple cultures have an unexpected advantage for the rest of their lives. They will not only be able to communicate with different people, but they will have more empathy and be able to bridge social gaps that they otherwise might not be able to understand.
Whether you are introducing them to your native language or teaching them a new one, by reading bilingual books with your grandchildren you are teaching them to be open minded and making it easier for them to build relationships with different cultures. If you invest this time with your family through the generations you can pass down traditions that might otherwise be lost, and studies suggest that traditions not only strengthen the family bond but they give everyone a shared identity. When children are rooted in tradition, they experience a sense of safety and security that will help them adjust to many different emotional situations. Just by beginning a tradition of reading to your grandchildren regularly you will teach them in the simplest way the importance of making a plan and seeing it through. That way when they get older they have the right habits ingrained in them, so when a temptation comes along in the form of television or some other distraction, they know to stick to what’s important because that’s what you did for them.
By reading KidKiddos books with your grandchildren, you are not only showing them that you are there for them through thick and thin, but you are getting them ready for the rest of their lives.