How to strengthen the grandparent-grandchild bond? 

Effective communication and active listening is key

By Vicky Leong  

Grandparents are an invaluable source of wisdom, love, and support for grandchildren and nurturing this relationship through meaningful interactions can have a profound impact on all generations. When it comes to the special connection between grandparents and their grandchildren, effective communication plays a vital role. 

Effective communication is a two-way street. While grandparents often dote on their grandchildren in various ways, grandchildren can, too, nurture their relationship with their grandparents by actively listening to their stories and experiences. Listening not only shows respect but encourages grandparents to continue sharing.  

My children and I (far right) enjoying a meal with their maternal grandparents 

Share stories, wisdom and values

Grandparents have a treasure box full of stories and wisdom to share with their grandchildren. Through verbal storytelling or written communication, they can impart valuable life lessons, family history, and personal experiences.  

These stories and regular conversations also create a strong emotional connection between the generations where children and teenagers feel loved, valued, and secure within the family. 

From my family’s experience, a strong bond encourages open and honest communication. My parents provide a safe and non-judgmental space for their grandchildren to express their thoughts, feelings, and concerns, offering emotional support and guidance.  

I recall when my 13-year-old daughter was going through some challenges in school, my mom reached out to her just to listen without giving any suggestions or advice. Later, she followed up with calls and visited her to check in on her. My daughter felt heard and supported as we provided a safe and non-judgmental space for her to express her thoughts and feelings.  

My children enjoying a meal with their paternal grandparents

My parents also pass on family traditions, values, and cultural heritage through their stories and conversations, ensuring that this important information is preserved for future generations.  

For example, they shared stories of me and my brother’s growing up days about how he loved to follow me around and how I loved to disturb him. My parents compared this to my children’s relationship and used these stories to encourage them to always treasure & love one another. 

Most importantly, through communication, grandparents and grandchildren can create lasting memories together. Whether through shared activities or simple conversations, these shared experiences strengthen the emotional ties between the generations.  

My parents love to plan getaways with their grandchildren and recently in November last year, they drove up to Malaysia where my father connected with some of his old friends and siblings. My technology-savvy 16-year-old son even used apps to help them navigate directions on the road and find places to visit! 

My parents, uncle, aunt & son at the foot of Genting Highlands 

Enhance communication

So how can you help your children to enhance communication with their grandparents? 

  1. Set regular communication time 

Create a routine for communication with grandparents. Whether it’s a weekly video call, a monthly visit, or daily texts, consistency helps maintain the connection. My in-laws set a weekly family dinner with the entire family to connect with their children and grandchildren.   

  1. Share interests 

It’s not difficult to find common interests that both generations enjoy together. Whether it’s gardening, cooking, reading, or a particular hobby, shared activities provide opportunities for meaningful interaction. 
As my mother-in-law enjoys playing musical instruments, she encouraged my children to learn the ukelele and guitar. Now, my children join her for some of her performances! 

My mother-in-law (centre) and daughter (right) performing

3. Plan multigenerational activities 

Lastly, plan and participate in activities that involve all generations of the family to create lasting memories and foster stronger connections. We plan yearly family trips with the grandparents as these greatly build & strengthen relationships with their grandchildren and everyone enjoys the quality time spent just being around each other.  

My in-laws & daughter over a birthday celebration after our weekly family dinner 

Treasure your loved ones

Proverbs 17:6 says that “Children’s children are a crown to the aged, and parents are the pride of their children.” This reminds me of the importance of family and the deep connection between generations. Having children of my own brings so much joy and pride as I’m sure it does for their grandparents! 

I am glad that my children get to experience their grandparents’ constant love and support which provides stability and a sense of belonging, as they grow up in a world that is constantly changing. 
May this Chinese New Year be a blessed time of fun, festivities and fellowship with family and may we always cherish our loved ones each day! 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

How strong parent-teacher engagement helped our children blossom at school and home 

How strong parent-teacher engagement helped our children blossom at school and home 

It truly takes a village to raise a child

How to avoid succumbing to worldly pleasures?

How to avoid succumbing to worldly pleasures?

Be in the world but not of the world

You May Also Like