I consider myself lucky, but also realize my situation was somewhat different than most people. I grew up having my maternal grandparents living in the same town. Until I was 10 they lived at most 10 minutes away, at which point they moved 4 blocks away. My grandparents stayed home with me when I was sick, watched me while my parents sometimes worked at night, hosted Easter egg hunts in their backyard, let me stir the sugar water while they canned, allowed me to sleepover and watch late night cartoons in their bed, and took me out to ice cream. I wasn't the only one; I was one of 12 grandchildren living in the same town.

My grandparents made grandparenting look easy, although I am sure it took some effort on their part. The most important thing to remember when concerning your grandchildren is to make time.

Anyone can be a good grandparent and can become involved in their grandchildren's lives with the following seven ideas:

  • Attend their activities; music and dance recitals, athletic events, plays, etc.

  • Teach them a talent or skill; woodworking, sewing, painting, a musical instrument, cooking, etc.

  • Host sleepovers.

  • Volunteer in their school classroom.

  • Host "dates" with each child individually and in small groups of grandchildren; check out local parks, swimming pools, zoos, museums, go out to eat or for ice cream.

  • If you live at a distance, video chat with your grandchildren on a weekly basis. Even if you live close, grandchildren can still get a kick out of seeing their grandparents in the computer.

  • If you live far away and circumstances allow, try to visit your grandchildren at least twice a year.

The connection between a grandparent and his/her grandchild is a special one, but one that needs to be constantly nurtured. Making time for your grandchildren is a surefire way to enrich your life and the lives of your grandchildren.

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