The word “grand” comes from the Latin “grandis,” meaning of large size or extent. When applied to the word parent, it’s little wonder that grandparents – be they grandma and grandpa, memaw and pepaw, or mom-mom and pop-pop – are considered a vital part of many thriving families. Supporters, caregivers and providers of advice and assistance, they make life easier and more enjoyable for their adult children and grandchildren alike. Here are a few interesting facts about grandparents across the nation:
- There are more than 70 million grandparents in the US, and that number continues to climb every day.
- 72% of grandparents regularly care for their grandchildren.
- Grandparents spend over 52 billion dollars each year on their grandchildren.
- 60% of grandparents live near their grandchildren.
How to Connect with Your Grandchildren
For some grandparents, the challenge of being presented with an active, hyper young mind to entertain can be a little intimidating. This concern is quickly alleviated through chatting with a grandchild, listening to their likes and dislikes, and prompting them accordingly for more information. However, not all grandchildren, especially young adults, are very forthcoming at certain stages of their development.
Here are a few activities that work well to help build connections and open up the lines of communication between a grandparent and grandchild:
Start a tradition – If an expected event is due to happen, it injects some normalcy into the situation for both the grandchild and his or her grandparent. This tradition can be as simple as a drive up the street to a favorite diner for breakfast on a certain day, or as complex as a ten-mile hike to a specific spot for a picnic each year. Repetition builds familiarity, and as a grandchild grows and matures, they will begin to take comfort in this ritual, however small, and let their guard down a little. A grandparent should be receptive and willing to compromise if a grandchild has an idea for their own new tradition, as well.
Take a trip – Covering many miles by car gives ample chances for discussion and observation, and, barring that, mutual enjoyment of a radio program or music genre. If both the grandchild and grandparent are new to traveling together, they should start small. A several-hour day trip should be attempted before a cross-country trek to allow them to ease into the company of one another.
Build something together – The choice of project should reflect the skills of both grandparent and grandchild, and can take the shape of a dog house, macaroni picture, or more advanced undertakings such as car repair. The focus of a project enables both individuals to connect and work together toward a common goal, promoting emotional cooperation along the way. This is also a great way for a grandparent to pass down knowledge – e.g. how to change car oil – to their grandchild.
Get snap happy – A grandparent and grandchild can go on a photo scavenger hunt together, either using traditional cameras or cell phone cameras, to see how many different types of an object they can find in an afternoon. Grandparents that live in the country might opt for wildlife sightings, while city-dwelling grandparents might use street signs as their target. Long-distance grandparents can join in on the fun by instructing their grandchild to upload their hunt photos into a shared online album for counting and comparison.
Connect with your Grandchild
Whitestone Country Inn can make your vacation with your grandchild(ren) memorable and fun. The resort is nestled next to the beautiful Watts Bar Lake and in view of the Smoky Mountains. This bed and breakfast is the perfect setting for grandparents to settle down and spend quality time with their grand-kiddos.
- Budget – click here to view our “Grandparents’ Package”
- Activities – several onsite including the following:
- Paddle boat or canoe on the lake
- Visit our horses or highland cattle
- Hiking on our trails
- Tennis, shuffleboard, or floating practice golf range
- Ping pong and billiards
- Much more
- Local Attractions offered off site that make wonderful day trips
- Knoxville Attractions