Grandparents are unique members of the family structure. They are proud of their “grandparent” status, as well as the family that has grown beneath them. There are numerous ways to make a grandparent happy; the most important thing is to understand what your grandparent enjoys. Simply making an effort will satisfy your grandparent and reassure him/her that you care.
Method 1: Spending Quality Time with Your Grandparents
1. Understand what your grandparent is capable of. Depending on his age, your grandparent may be restricted in some ways. If you want to spend time with your grandparent, make sure to plan activities that your grandparent will enjoy.
For example, if your grandfather requires the use of a cane or walker to get around, spending the morning walking around a local park is not a good idea. Your grandmother will be unable to walk for long periods of time and will require frequent rest breaks.
2. Keep an eye out for your grandparents’ interests and habits. If your grandparent has health issues or is over the age of 80, for example, he may have some restrictions on accepting visits. Visits should be avoided during these times.
Determine whether your grandparent sleeps late in the mornings or takes naps at the same time every day.
Determine whether your grandparent has a weekly doctor’s appointment or a medical routine that must be completed at the same time every day.
3. Make a plan for how you will interact with your grandfather or grandmother. Determine how you will spend your time with your grandparent based on what you know your grandparent can and enjoys doing. There are numerous options for creating new memories with your grandparent:
Cooking or baking together
Sit down and talk about your life and your memories.
Together, read a book.
Take a stroll around the neighbourhood or through a park.
Make something with him/her.
Learn a skill that he or she possesses, such as wood carving or knitting.
Take a picnic.
Visit a nearby art gallery.
Play board games or card games.
Window shop or go shopping
Take up fishing, boating, or hunting.
4. If your grandparent is in a nursing home or other assisted living facility, be realistic. Your grandparent may be unable to leave the facility in this case. Plan activities for you and your grandparent to do together that can be done wherever your grandparent is.
Discuss your life and memories.
Play board games or card games.
Put together a puzzle
Make a craft with your friends.
Together, read a book.
Make a storey or a poem together.
5. On the scheduled day of your visit, arrive on time and with the necessary supplies. Your grandparent will expect you to arrive on time and on the correct day. He has been anticipating this and will be disappointed if you are late or cancel.
If you are running late, call your grandfather and let him know you will be arriving a little later. Make it a point to explain why.
If you need to reschedule, notify your grandparent as soon as possible. Do not wait until the last minute to call and change your plans, as your grandparent will most likely be disappointed. Make sure to reschedule for a different day and time when you are certain you will be available.
6. Spend as much time as possible with your grandparent. Spending time with grandchildren means a lot to grandparents, so respect his excitement by participating in the activity and conversation.
Enjoy the time you have with your grandparents because you never know how long you will be able to do so.
7. Make plans to see your grandparent again soon. Let your grandfather know when you will be able to spend time with him again. Make plans for the next time you’ll see him.
You can either do something different the next time, or you can do the same thing again.
Make sure your grandparent has written down the date and time of your next visit.
Scheduling the next time gives your grandfather something to look forward to.
Method 2: Assisting Your Grandparent
1. Talk to your grandmother and find out if she requires assistance. Your grandmother may still live alone, in which case she would almost certainly appreciate assistance with housework. Inquire with your grandmother if she could benefit from your assistance in any way.
Alternatively, if you know your grandparent requires assistance, you could surprise her by showing up unannounced to do the work.
2. Make a list of ways you can assist. If your grandparent is hesitant to ask for help because of pride or a strong sense of independence, or if she is vague about her need, consider some ways you can assist her.
Clean the house.
Dust off the furniture.
Remove weeds from the garden
Assist in the harvesting of homegrown vegetables
Clean the walls.
Carpets should be thoroughly cleaned.
Carry out the laundry
Makeover a room with paint
3. Assist your grandparent in organising the completion of larger tasks. Your grandparents’ house may require professional work that you are unable to complete. You can, however, assist your grandparent in contacting various companies or contractors to obtain price estimates and schedule the work.
The installation of a new roof
Obtaining and installing a new appliance
Adding a porch or a deck to the house
Getting rid of a pest problem
Having some kind of renovation done inside the house, such as cabinet replacement
4. Arrive at your grandparents’ house to complete the work. You can schedule a time and date that works for both of you and your grandparent, or you can just show up and surprise her.
If she is expecting you, make a point of going to her house. If you do not show up, you will disappoint her and lose her trust.
If your grandparent is hesitant to let you help because of pride or feelings of independence, be polite and respectful. While she may truly require assistance, she may find it offensive or upsetting if you become pushy about it. If your grandmother does not want you to do as much work as you had planned, finish the tasks she has assigned you and try to finish the others the next time.
5. Do a good job. You are donating your time to assist your grandparent, but you must still complete the work to the best of your ability.
Your grandparent most likely did a lot to assist your parents in raising you, and this is your chance to repay the favour. This is also an excellent opportunity to express your gratitude and affection for her.
You want your grandparent to live in comfort and health, so do your best to ensure this by offering to do chores personally.
6. Follow up to ensure that the work is completed by the hired company or contractor. Make plans to be at your grandparents’ house on the day the work is supposed to be completed, if possible, to ensure that it is completed.
Depending on the type of work being done on her house, you may need to transport her to your home or somewhere else for the day. If necessary, make those arrangements ahead of time.
Method 3: Maintaining Contact with Your Grandparents
1. When you have the opportunity, pay a visit to your grandparent in person. Decide how frequently you can realistically visit your grandparent if you live nearby.
If you are a child who does not yet have the ability to drive, this will be dependent on your parents’ availability to drive you to your grandparents’ house.
Consider how many times per week you can go after school or work. Maybe you can only come once a week, or maybe you have time to come a few times a week.
If you live a long distance away, always make an effort to pay your grandparent a visit when you are in town.
2. When you have the opportunity, contact your grandparent. Even if you live close to your grandparents, you should make it a habit to call them once or twice a week. If you live a long distance away, you will want to do this on a regular basis.
If you have a 20-minute or longer commute to and from work or school, you could easily spend that time talking with your grandparent. Bluetooth devices, as well as Bluetooth accessibility in automobiles, are now widely used to make talking while driving safe.
When you know your grandparent is available and have the time, call. If your grandfather or grandmother is an early riser and you have time in the mornings, call them. If you cannot call until the evening, call at a time that is convenient for your grandparent.
3. Teach your grandfather or grandmother how to use a video calling service such as Skype. If your grandfather is technologically savvy, he might be interested in learning how to use a video calling service.
If you live a long distance away, this is a great opportunity to catch up with your grandparent and see each other.
Take a couple of hours when you visit your grandparent in person to teach him how to use the service and practise.
4. Another way to stay in touch is to send cards, notes, or letters. Your grandparent will appreciate receiving a card or letter from you, as well as the fact that you took the time to write to him.
You can send him a card for his birthday, anniversary, or other special occasion.
If your grandfather served in the military, he will appreciate being remembered and recognised on occasions such as Veteran’s Day.
You can also send a note “just because” to keep your grandparent up to date on what’s going on in your life.
Method 4: Showing Respect to Your Grandparents
1. Pay attention to your grandparent. This is a critical step that will affect all of your interactions with your grandparent.
When your grandparent tells you stories about your family history or her memories, be an active listener. Make comments and ask questions to demonstrate that you are paying attention.
Respond to her requests or commands appropriately. If she assigns you a task, you should complete it.
2. Show proper behaviour and manners when in the presence of your grandparent. Your grandparent grew up in a different era, with different societal norms and values. Be aware of any habits that may irritate your grandparent.
While spending time with her, turn off your cell phone or smartphone. Your attention should be drawn to her.
Avoid arguing with or contradicting your grandparent.
When your grandmother does something for you or gives you a gift, express your gratitude.
When you’re out in public, be courteous to your grandparent and others.
Help others by performing any tasks or chores without complaint.
3. Treat your grandmother as if she is deserving of your time. The truth is that your grandparent is getting older and will most likely develop health problems. Unfortunately, she will not live forever, and your grandparent needs to know how much you appreciate the time you spend with her.
Tell your grandmother how much you adore her on a regular basis.
When spending time with your grandmother, pay close attention to her.
4. Take your grandmother’s advice. Your grandparent has lived for many more years and has had far more life experiences than you. Even if you disagree with her advice, your grandmother is almost certainly speaking from personal experience.
If you follow her advice and it works for you, please let your grandmother know and thank her for her assistance.
5. Invite your grandparents to events or go on vacation with you. Grandparents genuinely want to be included and invited to events. If you are throwing a dinner party or going on a family vacation, make sure to invite your grandparent.
Even though grandparents enjoy babysitting their grandchildren, they feel more respected and included when they are invited to events.
6. Teach your grandmother about current societal norms and be understanding of her beliefs. Things were very different when your grandparents were growing up, so be understanding. Your grandparent is likely to have many firm beliefs, so avoid arguing or mocking them.
Try not to impose new ideas or beliefs on your grandmother if she is not willing to learn about them. This merely sets the stage for an argument and adds to the tension.
Your grandmother may be interested in a topic or a custom, but she may not want to learn everything there is to know about it. Respect the conversational boundaries she establishes.
Explain certain new societal norms, such as how people interact or the mix of cultures present in society, calmly and carefully.
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