Grandparents Rights & Visitation Tips
4 Tips for Developing & Maintaining a Close Relationship During Visitation
Belzer Law firm suggests a few of the following tips to help grandparents develop and maintain a close relationship during grandparent visitation:
1. Listen First and Share your Wisdom Next
Be a listening ear and teach by example. Sometimes the most important thing a child needs is for someone to be close especially when they are in need. When a child knows you are listening, they will be more open to your insights and will more readily respond when you do make corrections. A few simple words of advice or quick, “don’t do that,” works more effectively when you offer a listening ear first.
Instructing on issues of right and wrong are much more effective when done in a quiet moment, after the trauma has passed. Offering an experience from your own life can be extremely valuable. Let them know how you learned to avoid repeating certain mistakes. If you have not made a particular mistake, tell of someone who did. If necessary, invent a whopper with a horrendous outcome in order to give a memorable way to make better choices. Always share your values.
2. Take them Outside
When you have your grandchildren over, take them outside and play whiffle ball, dodge ball, or tag and let them experience games you used to play. Most children spend too much time with video games and television and are seldom outdoors.
If you camp or hike, take your grandchildren with you. Short hikes to get ice cream are fun, and backyard camping is fun too. Climb a tree or a large rock, walk along a stream, or skip rocks on a lake. Take your grandchildren on vacation and show them mountains, forests and the ocean. Drive them from coast to coast or across the state where they can experience wide-open spaces. Enjoy the journey together.
3. Be Interested in Their Interests
While you may not be an expert in sports, the latest teenage fashions or the hottest new video games, show an interest and be teachable. By becoming a willing student, you show your grandchildren you can learn and stay relatively current at any age. Do a little research of your own on their particular interests and you will surprise them. It helps grandchildren to know that you are thinking of them and shows that you care.
Coach their sports teams if you are able and have time. If you don’t coach, be sure to find a coach who encourages rather than discourages. Take them to their sporting events and practices and cheer loudly. Definitely take them for ice cream afterwards. Tell them funny or meaningful stories about your glory days. Let them know about your sports heroes and why you admire them.
4. Share Treasured Keepsakes
Display the things you are proud of or that give them insight into what you were like when you were younger — a plaque, a collage of medals, a painting, anything of yours that you’d like your grandchildren to see. Keep photo albums available on a prominent bookshelf or a coffee table. Your own children will enjoying reminiscing, and grandchildren love seeing old pictures of their parents.
Enjoy your grandchildren!