Grandparents have a special role to play. Their experience can provide trusted guidance and help their grandchildren to feel a broader sense of safety and stability in today’s lives.
What do grandparents want to share? They like to leave something that the grandchildren can remember them by (see blog Legacy of Life Stories – Mission Impossible?). There are countless ways grandparents can share their wisdom, gifts of hindsight, words of prayer and blessings. The content can be drawn from family history, travels, family cuisines, traditions, beliefs and values, etc. Given that many grandchildren are busy and halfway around the world, how can we find a more effective way to build connections between grandparents and grandchildren?
Before the ushering of the smartphone, our precious moments were stored as physical pictures on albums or digital photos on the computers. Browsing them will require both parties to be physically present and paying full attention. While cloud solutions like Google Photos can provide access anytime anywhere, it is not ideal due to security and privacy concerns.
As most grandchildren are digital natives, busy and have a short attention span, hence less is more. The grandparent can share the golden nuggets about their lives in the form of letters or stories (see blog 30 days challenge – Write your Life Story). For instance, they can choose a topic or theme such as highlight of travels and family history. There is no one-size-fits-all answer and they can use a combination of written text, pictures, and mementos. Organise the content in bite-size that can be consumed easily. Above all, provide a multisensory experience in the form of a simple eBook, or photo journal or a video slideshow (see blog Let the Adventure Begin – Create your own Recreation Slideshow).
There is a saying that hoarding gets worse with age. This is an opportunity to do some spring cleaning and keep only what sparks joy (see blog Liberate Your Life by Decluttering). Digitizing the photos and keeping the digital copy leads to a substantial reduction in the storage footprint. Consequently, this means less to keep, less to organize and less to worry.
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In conclusion, grandparents can improve bonding with the next generation by acquiring skills to start this creative, meaningful and fun journey. Be empowered to create opportunities for generations to bond and connect!