Teens today lead active lifestyles with multiple commitments. Grandparents who were once a big part of their childhood can be easily sidelined. It may require some effort for grandparents and their grandchildren to reconnect.
The question is, how? Here’s the good news – creating precious memories with grandparents doesn’t have to be extravagant. What matters most is having patience and an open mind to listen to grandparents’ interests and needs; sometimes it can be as simple as having a regular meal at their place over hearty conversation to make their week.
We list some ideas that both teens and parents can try to foster inter-generational bonding.
Remember how dinner tables used to groan underneath the weight of all those scrumptious dishes lovingly prepared by grandparents? With grandparents getting on in their years, it may be tiring for them to cook up a storm for the family. Here’s where teens and parents can step in to pick up the wok to learn “secret” family recipes. Not only is cooking together fun and helps bonding, it will also ensure the family recipes will be passed down to the next generation.
Take a Trip down Memory Lane
Reliving memories together with grandparents can be an exciting affair. Teens may have to do a bit of digging beforehand to find out about their grandparents’ favourite childhood snacks, hangouts and activities. But seeing the glow of contentment on their face as they’re brought around the island to reminisce their past will be well worth it.
Plan a Sleepover
Recall the days when kids clamour for sleepover adventures at their grandparents’ place? How about planning an encore to transport everyone back to the past? Be sure to bring along snacks and a listening ear; it is going to be an unforgettable evening of soul-bearing… and perhaps a few fun stories about the parents when they were kids! Or if everyone is feeling adventurous, why not have a blast together over video games as well!
Binge on a New Television Programme Together
How about watching the latest Korean show or Hong Kong drama together? Shedding a tear or laughing your hearts out over the plot make for a fun and heart-warming day with grandparents.
Sign up for a Course Together
We’re never too old to learn, and our nearest community centre has a wide range of activities to sign up for. Whether it’s cooking a new type of cuisine, fabric crafting, practicing calligraphy or mastering a new instrument, learning something new together is always a great opportunity for deeper conversations and quality time.
Back for the second year, Celebrating Our Grands! campaign (3 – 17 Oct) aims to instil positive family values in our young, and encourage them to show appreciation for their elderly extended family members. Click here for more tips and creative ideas to build stronger grandparent-grandchild bonds!
This article first appeared in Families for Life article segment at www.familiesforlife.sg/discover-an-article/Pages/Bonding-Activities-for-Teens-and-their-Grandparents.aspx