The bond between grandparents and their grandchildren should be nurtured for it is a special one that can have long-lasting effects and benefits. It can provide grandchildren with increased self-confidence and an independence that can carry them through life, helping them through the hard times that they will inevitably face. It can also provide them with additional influential role models and the chance to learn about their family’s culture and history.

For grandparents, this special bond can bring happiness and the opportunity to experience life through the eyes of a child once more.

But how do you build that bond? How do you insure it’ll be strong?

For my parents, it was easy. When my daughter was born I was still living at home, which allowed them a unique opportunity to bond with her. Like many other infants, my daughter had colic, and as a result, I experienced a slew of sleepless nights. When it got to the point I could stay awake no longer, my parents would take over for me, allowing me to get some sleep and providing them with the opportunity to spend time with their grand-baby.

There were some nights where the only thing that would still my daughter’s tears was the cool night air, so my dad would wrap her in a blanket and sit outside with her for hours on end.  It was those late night moments that forged a bond between my dad and daughter that is unlike any I have ever seen. She is Bampi’s girl and can do no wrong in his eyes. They’re inseparable and would spend every waking moment together if they could.

Both of my children are fortunate because we live next door to my mom and dad, therefore my children have easy access to them. For many grandparents, that’s not the case. Some live several hours away and some in completely different countries.

But distance does not mean that the bond between you and your grandchild has to suffer. There are things that all grandparents can do to insure they have that special bond with their grandchildren — a bond that only grows stronger with time.

Due to the advances in technology, even grandparents on the other side of the world have the ability to see their grandchildren in real time via webcam. Once children are older and can type, they can also chat with their grandparents via instant messenger or over the phone. Some phones even come equipped with a video camera. Parents can also create online photo albums and they can email the grandparents regularly to keep them abreast of new developments in their grandchildren’s lives.

For grandparents that live close by and have easy access to their grandchildren, there’s an abundance of things that they can do in order to bond with their grandchild, from baking cookies, to creating scrapbooks, to having sleepovers.

Some of my daughter’s best memories include spending the night at my parent’s house, laying on their bed and making up stories and joking around with my dad, pretending he and her are hideous beasts or hairy Sasquatches.

To my daughter, it’s not about how much money they spend. It’s the things that they do with her that show her how much they love her.

One thing that you should remember when trying to build the bond between you and your grandchildren is that they are people too. They have their own likes and dislikes, so it’s important to get to know them. Talk to them and ask them questions. Accept them for who they are and not who you want them to be.

[Image Credit]