Grandparenting Tips: Enjoy time with your grands

HOBBIES ARE GOOD FOR YOUR HEALTH

Do you have a hobby? Hobbies can give meaning and purpose to your life in retirement. As Robert Putnam points out in his book, Bowling Alone, it’s easy to discount the importance of hobbies and social engagements. Putnam details the widespread decline in civic engagement, from PTA memberships to neighborhood potlucks and bowling leagues. Over a couple of generations, Americans have misplaced the concept of free time.

SPECIAL PLANS FOR YOUR SPECIAL PEOPLE

Lily is a beautiful, active and full of personality toddler who happens to have Down syndrome. Lily’s parents and I have been friends for years and I have the continuing pleasure of watching Lily and her siblings grow up. While Lily is becoming a physical therapy rock star and hitting all her milestones in a timely fashion, her parents have started planning for the future.

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WHY WE ENJOY OUR HOBBIES

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a hobby as “a pursuit outside one’s regular occupation, engaged in especially for relaxation.” Hobbies include anything from playing a musical instrument to gardening, bird watching or sewing. A hobby is a way of focusing on something you enjoy just for the sake of that enjoyment. It may also be a way to clear your mental palette. You could be stressed out by a situation at work or the challenges of raising children and need an escape.

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Grandparents get to play a very special role in the lives of their grandchildren. A study by the American Sociological Association found grandparents and grandchildren have profound effects on each other’s psychological well-being long into the future.


Becoming a grandparent is a joyful experience, but for some, it could mark the beginning of a series of conflicts. This happens when grandparents forget their responsibilities to grandchildren are not the same as those they had as parents of their own children. Here are some things you can do as grandparents to build a better bond with your grandchildren and children.


Feel like a kid again

Grandchildren have a way of making grandparents feel like kids again. Grandparents these days don’t merely sit on the sidelines and watch their grandkids play; they get in on the fun. Fishing, swimming, going to theme parks – it’s all part of the grandparenting package. Teach your grandkids a card game you used to love, such as war or crazy eights, that gets everyone’s competitive juices flowing.


Pass down family stories and traditions

Being a grandparent means sharing the family history. Grandparents are the keepers of traditions and lore. Tell your grandchild stories about his or her parents when they were young or even stories of your own

GRANDPARENTING TIPS: ENJOY TIME WITH YOUR GRANDS

childhood. Share pictures, videos and scrapbooks to help bring the stories alive. Your grandkids will get a kick out of seeing their parents and grandparents as babies and small children.


Take a trip together

One of the best ways to connect with your grandchildren is to get out in the world together. Take your grandchild to a concert, play, movie, local museum, sporting event or whatever interests him or her. These fun trips provide a wonderful opportunity to grow the bond with your grandkids and make some memories.


Here are some more  grandparenting tips:


HARLEENA SINGH

Harleena Singh is a professional freelance writer and blogger who has a keen interest in health and wellness. She can be approached through her blog (www.aha-now.com) and Web site, www.harleenasingh.com. Connect with her on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.

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