By Maggie Wilkinson.
Retirement is a such a golden time, a time to reflect on not only what you want to do, but also, realising just how much you have to give.
Grannies and Grandpas are the superheroes of this stressful world - the most wonderful asset a family can have, and now you have settled into your amazing retirement village, the grandchildren can come for days, mornings, maybe afternoons – on a regular basis, and you will be giving them the most precious gift there is. Your time.
It’s very special for children with siblings to revel in one-to-one time with a grandparent, and now, you can offer that, and perhaps they can take turns.
When an older person has a close relationship with a youngster, a marvellous exchange can take place; you get to see the world through their eyes, and they see it through yours!
Both sides will love the talking, you’ll learn so much.
Your stories and memories will make them smile, they won’t believe the way things were, back in the day, and how you got through somehow, and went on to have happy families.
They would love to look through your photograph albums! And you will enjoy hearing them chatter about their friends and their schools, you will have a revolutionary insight into their world.
You are an incredible gift for busy, young parents, who are probably juggling a house, jobs, pets and the children.
You remember how that was… what a joy for them to know that they can bring the children over to you at your senior living home and know that their little one is going to be nurtured in a peaceful happy oasis with unique you.
And, the gift is returned in several ways.
They will help to keep you healthy – the germs young children come into contact with, playing, eating and touching, will actually give your immune system a boost, and help you to stay well.
Research has also shown that spending time with grandchildren is truly rewarding, because it makes you happy, and that’s the best antidote to depression there is.
The time you share will fill the odd gaps children experience these days, you can teach them the little life skills that schools no longer have time for, and things parents find hard to fit in.
Little things are big things: Empower them!
Depending on your grandchildren’s age, these can be great examples of bonding activities:
- Teaching them how to tie their shoe-laces
- Showing them how to lay the table (make a little posy to pretty it up)
- Cooking, baking, preparing a salad, hulling strawberries
- Button pictures, sew on a button, showing them how to thread buttons on string
- Drawing and painting, colouring – always a pleasure
- Stories, songs & poems
- Taking photographs
- Teaching a musical instrument
Children naturally want to help, to be part of things, but at home there isn’t always time to indulge that, and parents often take for speed.
But you are time-rich and can enjoy showing them all sorts of things, at your leisure within your independent senior living.
You don’t need to buy lots of expensive toys, they will be happy just to play. This is the importance of Grandparents! Lastly, don’t forget to laugh, and be daft, they really love that!