Good Habits Grandparents Can Pass On
Is there anything better than being a grandparent? Seeing the world through your grandchildren’s eyes and feeling young again as you watch them grow and learn is an indescribable experience.
It’s probably no wonder why grandparents are often stereotyped as being “easy” on their grandkids or spoiling them with everything from treats to toys.
There’s nothing wrong with spoiling your grandkids a little and having fun with them. But, consider the wealth of knowledge and experience you’ve gained over your life. You undoubtedly have stories to tell, advice to give, and plenty of lessons to teach. In addition having fun with your grandkids, you should use every opportunity with them to share some of that knowledge, and pass on good habits to the next generation.
So, how can you be a great role model to your grandkids and pass on positive habits?
Always Being Helpful
From the moment your grandchild is born, you can start setting an example for them by being helpful and thoughtful. Obviously, they aren’t going to pick up on your actions from the moment they’re born, but it’s a good practice to get into. You can start by helping out their father and mother right away. You know how hard it is to be a new parent, so you could offer the new mom and/or dad some relief by doing things like:
- Making / bringing them food
- Doing their laundry
- Running errands for them
- Cleaning their house
- Bringing supplies for the new baby
As your grandchildren get older, keep setting the example that helping people is the norm and something that should be done every day. Consider baking cookies together and taking them to our neighbor. Go to the local pet shelter with them to walk dogs. Volunteer with them during a community trash clean-up day. The options are endless.
It’s a parent’s job, of course, to teach their child to do the right things in life. But, as a grandparent, you have a unique opportunity to take that idea deeper as often as possible and to show them how helping someone can go a very long way.
Healthy Hygiene Habits
It’s not uncommon for grandkids to have sleepovers with their grandparents. Sometimes, parents just need a break. Other times, you’ll find that your grandkids think staying overnight at your house is a real adventure.
While sleepovers are meant to be fun, that doesn’t mean you can’t promote certain healthy habits, especially when it comes to hygiene.
Of course, it’s once again up to their parents to teach them the basics. But, you might have a creative tip or trick up your sleeve that makes something as simple as brushing their teeth fun and easier. For example, if they don’t want to brush their teeth before bed, you could suggest they hum a certain song while they do it, and when that song is done, they can be done brushing. If they don’t want to take a bath, get creative with bath toys or crayons/markers specifically for the tub.
You can also use your knowledge and experience to explain why healthy hygiene habits are so important. When kids know the reason behind the things they “have” to do, they’re less likely to fight it. Share a personal story about your oral health (maybe a cavity you had as a kid?) or how important it is to wash up and get clean. Chances are, it will stick with them.
Spending Time Outside
There’s no question that we live in a technology-filled world. And, there’s nothing wrong with that. Tech is extremely helpful in so many ways. It can even help you age in place and make your daily life easier.
Kids today spend an unbelievable amount of time with technology. From a young age, they’re introduced to smartphones and tablets, and many spend hours a day using those devices.
Help your grandkids get in the habit of spending time outside. Play is incredibly important for children of all ages, but doing anything outdoors is beneficial. Some of those benefits for kids include:
- Building confidence
- Learning independence
- Stimulating their imagination
- Growing resiliency
When kids are active outside, it will also help their physical health and teach them how to take care of themselves.
You don’t need to have anything special planned to take your grandkids outdoors. Go for a walk together, or on a nature hike to identify different insects and leaves. Or, go to the local park for a picnic and a game of catch. If you have a pet that is kid-friendly and easily manageable, allow your grandchild to walk them while you stroll by their side. There are countless options and benefits.
While it’s okay to let yourself dip into some of the grandparent stereotypes of spoiling your grandchildren, it’s also important to realize that you have an opportunity to help them grow and learn. Take advantage of that as often as possible. You’ll love seeing those “lightbulb” moments for them, and watching them advance thanks to the habits you’ve helped teach them.
*This article is for general informational purposes only. 50+ World does endorse any product or service providers, nor does it receive remuneration from them.*