Yesterday was Grandparents Day. And while it might have gotten lost in all the memorials for the 10th anniversary of 9/11, I have to admit that it might not have even been a big story if it didn't fall on Sept. 11. There are so many holidays that we seem to overlook some, or blame Hallmark for making them up as a reason to get customers to buy a few more cards. But Grandparents Day wasn't just invented by Hallmark. It was started by a woman, Marian McQuade, who wanted to help children learn from their grandparents. It became an official holiday in 1978.
So if you didn't do anything special yesterday for the grandparents in your childrens' lives, don't worry about it. The ideas of Grandparents Day are something you can celebrate every day. It's so important for kids to have a relationship with their grandparents, and parents are an important part of making that happen. It seems like common sense that people who are close to their parents will also have children who are close to their grandparents. It just makes the relationship easier. But even if you're not exactly close to your parents, grandparents are a great resource. It's not only good for kids to be around people of different ages, there's also so much they can learn from their grandparents. They learn about the family's history and they learn how life was different when their grandparents were little.
Maybe even more importantly, grandparents often have different hobbies and talents than we do that they can share with the kids. For example, my mom is a great seamstress. She always made some of my clothes, and even made a beautiful formal dress for me to wear to an event in college when I didn't have the money to buy anything special. I always admired her talent, but never had the patience to sew. Now my daughter is interested in learning about making clothes and designing some of her own doll clothes, and it's my mom who can help guide her and teach her what she needs to know.
So use yesterday's Grandparents Day holiday as a starting point to help enhance that grandparent/grandchild relationship. Check out the ideas and products at Grandcamp.com to help grandparents and grandchildren connect. Set up a "Grand Sleepover" to give your kids some time alone with their grandparents (and you some much needed alone time). If things get a little tense or stressful when you're around your parents or in-laws, find tips to smooth out the relationship and make it work for your kids in "Generation Clash: Reducing Parenting Friction with Grandparents."
Whatever way you do it, working on setting the foundation for a good relationship with your kids and their grandparents is beneficial to everyone involved.