Have you ever turned to your parents, your spouse’s parents, or older relatives for advice or support with your child? If you have, you’ve probably realized how wonderful grandparents can be. Encouraging a close relationship will benefit grandparents, parents and children. The following are some benefits of bonding and tips on staying in touch with your child’s grandparents.

Benefits of bonding with grandparents:

· Children who establish a close bond with their grandparents learn about their cultural heritage and family history.
· The unconditional love provided by grandparents allows children to develop trust and to feel safe with people other than their parents.
· Parents also benefit by receiving help with child care and advice about how to raise children.
· Grandparents who remain close to their grandchildren may be healthier, happier, and more active.

Tips for staying in touch:

· If your child’s grandparents live nearby, make time for regular visits. Also encourage the grandparents to drop by your home for visits. Plan regular trips to see out of town grandparents. Even if visits are infrequent, anticipating and planning the next trip can help your child see the joy of spending time with relatives.
· Make sure to phone, e-mail, or write to the grandparents often. Sending pictures or videos is also a great way for the grandparents and children to remain close.
· Place snapshots of your child’s grandparents in a prominent spot in your home, and point them out to your child often.
· Most grandparents have hobbies or special skills such as knitting, woodworking, or cooking. They would love to pass these skills to their grandchildren. Provide your children with the time and tools they need to learn these skills from their grandparents.
· A great way to stay in touch is to chart a family tree. Both younger and older kids enjoy learning about their ancestors and relatives. Encourage your child’s grandparents to share stories about their families. The time your children spent with their grandparents will be rewarding for both you and your children.