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Toddlers and Grandparents – How to Build the Relationship

November 03, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 158

When my toddler began to call our telephone “Grandma” I knew we needed to do some serious Grandma-Granddaughter bonding. It’s not surprising she thought the telephone was grandma – we were constantly passing her the phone telling her “Say hi to Grandma!”, “Grandma wants to talk to you” and “Let’s call Grandma”.

Nothing makes you appreciate your mother more than having a baby of your own. When reading “Goodnight Moon” for the twentieth time in a row it suddenly hits you – “Someone did this for me! Did I ever thank her? And once I am on the subject did I ever thank her for helping me break in all my teeth?” So when my darling thought that the black cordless was the Grandma who tolerated all my tantrums I knew I owed it to my mom to make sure she received her payback for all the child rearing she’s done. My mother definitely deserved to enjoy a close relationship with her granddaughter. However, at over 300 miles away it was hard to maintain a closeness.

Realizing the problem is half the solution. Once we concentrated on it we found plenty of ways to make Grandma a real live figure in my daughter’s life. Here are some ideas that worked for us.

  • When my mom came for a visit I took pictures of her throughout the visit, her feeding my daughter, them taking a walk together, baking etc. Then I printed the pictures, wrote some words to go with it, hard laminated it and bound it into a book. We read the book all the time. She loves seeing herself and it reminds her of the real Grandma!
  • We send Grandma a letter via snail mail once a week. We draw pictures, put on stickers, finger paint. Grandma can throw it out upon arrival but it gets us talking about her. She loves bringing it to the mailbox each week. (Though now she thinks Grandma may live inside that mailbox!
  • Grandma sends us small video recordings via email. She loves to see Grandma and hear how much she loves her.
  • My mother purchased some books for her and recorded it on tape. She even rang a bell when it’s time to turn the page. I don’t know if my baby understands yet that it’s her Grandmother, but it definitely makes me feel closer to her when I listen!
  • I encourage my mother to come to us as often as I can. Multiple invitations do turn into occasional visits!
  • When my mother does come visit we make the most of our time together. We visit the zoo, play with her favorite toys, take long walks and go to the park together. We try to schedule some activities that directly appeals to my toddler so she truly enjoys the short time she has with her Grandma.

We still do call Grandma all the time. And my daughter does still call the cellphone “Grandma”. Hmm, guess you can’t change a toddler’s mind that easily.

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Grandparent Child Relationship




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