Grandparents are the most excited when grandkids come over for their holidays. And with the holiday season approaching, many excited grandparents are in wait mode. For the grandparents who live with or meet their grandkids regularly, the holiday season provides an avenue to spend quality time with them. With the Gen Z grandkids, though, sometimes, grandparents can struggle to connect and many of them try to find ways to connect with the grandkids.
Gen Z is the generation born in the Internet and mobile era, called digital natives. They understand technology even as tiny tots and are very comfortable using tech gadgets while we struggle to figure it out. One of the biggest grouses that parents and grandparents have is that these kids spend a lot of time on their devices. And the pandemic only made it worse. If you are getting to meet your grandkids only during holidays, then here is what you can do or try differently this time to connect and keep going. These tips will ensure you can have quality time with your grandkids, not just for this holiday season but for the future also.
Start a new tradition
Make it a point to start a new family tradition, especially with the child(ren). It could be texting or video calling about the day or something creative like sending a letter once a fortnight or a month, etc. It could be an agreement to spend a birthday together in the year, or it could be to go for a holiday together. Inform parents about this new tradition to avoid confusion. This tradition can help build trust and bring people close to sharing things. It could become something that either side will do.
Create a hobby club
Many survey reports suggest that Gen Z turned to the ‘Grandma era’ to survive the lockdown. It meant they looked for avenues to get creative and learned to do crocheting, knitting, baking, etc., like grannies who may or may not have been with them. Start a book or a baking club with them, depending on their liking. New recipes could be discussed, tried, and posted in the club. You could gift them books to read and discuss, etc. Guide them to bake cakes or make some traditional family dishes for special occasions like the birthdays of their parents or friends. You could help them create DIY artifacts like pottery, wall hangings, etc. This club can forge a great sense of bonding to keep the conversations going.
Learn a new skill together
Have a pact with the grandkids that you will learn a new skill, even if you are in different locations. Identify and agree on something like a new language, a hobby, a sport, an instrument, etc. This activity can also become a topic of conversation with the grandkids as both sides progress. Also, it keeps you mentally active and makes them evolve as a person, as you feel motivated to learn along with them and vice versa.
Bond over entertainment/sports
Another great to bond with your grandkids is to watch movies together or suggested by each other. You could discuss these movies with them to understand what they liked and vice versa. For example, the Harry Potter series, Marvel or DC Comics movies, etc., a craze among this generation, may usually be their pick. It’s a great way to connect with this generation as they help you understand the nuances and explain what they like, why, etc. You could also suggest a few old-time classics like Sholay, Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro, Chupke Chupke, etc. It would be interesting to compare their perspective with yours and understand their point of view.
Use the same philosophy with sports. For example, the FIFA World Cup 2022 is in progress, with everyone rooting for their favourite teams. Some sporting activity is always happening, whether cricket, tennis, football, badminton, or the Olympics. Discuss sports, share your memories of previous sports achievements, and maybe watch movies like 1983 and Chak De! India to discuss and connect over sports.
Find ways to connect
Ideally, you should pick any excuse and occasion to connect with grandkids. You could go on a road trip with them. It could become a great way to connect, share life experiences, and create memories. For example, you could go on a road trip with them to your ancestral house or the school you studied. Or you could ask them to pick a place they want to see and plan it that way. Encourage them to blog/vlog about the trip to bring out their creativity. If they are social-media savvy, create reels together and share them in your social circles. The key is to move beyond formal grandparenting to become their friends. The kids will appreciate this as they will always have someone to connect with, even if their parents are busy. This bonding can strengthen and unite families.