This Sunday, September 11th, is Grandparents Day worldwide, a holiday dedicated to celebrating all grandparents for their tireless love.
Every grandparent is different – some may live with others, and some may be living alone perhaps after the loss of a spouse. Some may have become grandparents early in life, while others may not have become grandparents until much later. Regardless of living situation or age, grandparents are in a unique position to enhance the lives of the younger generations.
According to the U.S Census, one is six Americans is now living in a household with multiple generations. Whether it is due to choice, financial restrictions, or health reasons, multigenerational homes may soon become the “new normal.” This living situation can be wonderful for cultivating the meaningful relationship between grandparents and grandchildren. As discussed in 60 Minutes’ Leslie Stahl’s book Becoming Grandma, many grandparents are actually supporting their adult children by providing care for their grandchildren on a regular basis.
Depending on the age of the grandchildren, grandparents can create incredible and long-lasting memories with their grandchildren. Even as the child ages, the special bonds developed with the grandparents will continue as the connection and methods of communication change.
To celebrate these special people who love our children unconditionally, we’ve come up with five ways to show appreciation this Sunday.
- Have a picnic. Pack a cooler with sandwiches and take a short drive to a local park with picnic benches. A simple meal in a park with a grandchild can liven a grandparent’s spirits. Bring balls and outdoor toys for younger children. A simple game of catch could be something they both remember for a lifetime.
- Start a hobby. If your parent or child has a hobby, set aside time for them to nurture this activity together. If they don’t yet share a hobby, find something they can both enjoy together, such as collecting baseball cards, painting or watching classic movies.
- Volunteer for a shared cause. Inspire your children to help those less fortunate or raise funds for a particular cause by volunteering. Make it a multigenerational endeavor by including everyone – the children, parents and grandparents!
- Share pictures, stories and events. Show the world how much you relish your children’s relationship with their grandparents with images and videos. Share their stories and pictures online at HonorYourLivingLegend.com, a platform Home Care Assistance developed to recognize older adults as “Living Legends”.
- Make a video call. If your parents aren’t local, set up a prearranged time every week for a Skype or Facetime call between the grandparents and grandchildren. Ask your child to make a list of funny jokes to share, or keep a list of accomplishments from the week on hand to share in the call.
Time becomes much more important to our parents as they age, and the time they can share with the grandchildren becomes that much more precious. For more ways to celebrate Grandparents Day this Sunday, and every day, go to www.GrandparentsDay.org.