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How to Help Your Parents and Kids Better Connect

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Foster a strong relationship between your children and their grandparents by creating opportunities for them to interact

Here are some ways to help encourage a strong bond between your children and their grandparents:

Capturing Their Stories

While my kids adored their grandparents, they didn’t know much about Nanny’s and Poppy’s lives.
Before visiting them, we brainstormed a list of questions we wanted to ask, such as how they met and
what they liked to do as kids. Then we recorded video of the older kids talking to their
grandparents, asking them questions and listening to their stories. My parents were flattered that
the kids had taken such an interest in them, and my kids were excited to learn more about their
grandparents. The experience was such a hit that we continued the interviews over the course of
several visits. These videos have become a treasured keepsake.

—Corrine DelGallo

Happy Birthday, Grandma!

Our children have learned to celebrate their great-grandmother’s birthday with the same enthusiasm
that is shown at their own birthdays. They help prepare food and clean and decorate the house. They
create handmade cards to honor her on her special day. During the party, they join the rest of the
family in telling their great-grandmother what they love and appreciate about her.

—Beth Alsmeyer

Long-Distance Family Connections

In our family, grandparents live across oceans and over jagged mountain ranges. The key we have found to cultivating relationships between my children and their grandparents includes consistent and creative communication.
Here are a few ways we’ve found to stay in touch:

Schedule telephone dates. Plan regular phone conversations with grandparents. Ahead of time, discuss with your child one or two questions she can ask or subjects she can talk about. Honor the scheduled time to talk by having a key phrase to signal the end of the conversation.

Send art. Make good use of the masterpieces posted on your refrigerator. Instead of allowing these crayon creations to gather dust, mail them to grandparents.

Celebrate small. We send pictures of the big events, but we also document the small things — lost teeth, tea parties and mismatched outfits. Grandparents love being involved in their grandchild’s daily life.

Go high-tech. Internet-based video-calling services like Skype and FaceTime are easy to use — even for those who may not be tech savvy. Set up a way for grandparents to video chat with your child. We buy Grandma and our daughter the same book to read over FaceTime, then Grandma reads while we help our daughter turn the pages.

—Amy Sullivan

Family stories and tweens

One interesting way for tweens to interact with older relatives — grandparents, fathers, mothers, aunts and uncles — is to have them ask family members about their lives in order to preserve their stories. Kids can do this through interviewing their relatives and writing down the stories, taking a home video of their relatives or even making a scrapbook page about the stories. Not only will children learn more about their family’s history, they will grow closer to their extended family. If you don’t live near older relatives, consider having your child call them on the phone or use Skype. Doing this will help tweens learn to sit, listen and talk to older people. And it can be done all year.

—Jim Halcomb

“Capturing Their Stories” and “Happy Birthday, Grandma!” first appeared in the August/September 2018 issue of Focus on the Family magazine. “Long-Distance Family Connections” first appeared in the December 2012 issue of Thriving Family. “Family Stories and Tweens” first appeared on ThrivingFamily.com. The compiled article “How to Help Get Your Parents and Kids to Bond” first appeared on FocusOnTheFamily.com (2018).

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Your Teen Needs You Most of All

No parent of teens is perfect and even the best can learn how to better connect with their son or daughter. Get practical action steps to better connect with your teenager in 8 Essential Tips for Parenting Your Teen in this FREE video series!

There Is Still Hope for Your Marriage

You may feel that there is no hope for your marriage and the hurt is too deep to restore the relationship and love that you once had. The truth is, your life and marriage can be better and stronger than it was before. In fact, thousands of marriages, situations as complex and painful as yours, have been transformed with the help of professionals who understand where you are right now and care deeply about you and your spouse’s future. You can restore and rebuild your marriage through a personalized, faith-based, intimate program called, Hope Restored.

There Is Still Hope for Your Marriage

You may feel that there is no hope for your marriage and the hurt is too deep to restore the relationship and love that you once had. The truth is, your life and marriage can be better and stronger than it was before. In fact, thousands of marriages, situations as complex and painful as yours, have been transformed with the help of professionals who understand where you are right now and care deeply about you and your spouse’s future. You can restore and rebuild your marriage through a personalized, faith-based, intimate program called, Hope Restored.

There Is Still Hope for Your Marriage

You may feel that there is no hope for your marriage and the hurt is too deep to restore the relationship and love that you once had. The truth is, your life and marriage can be better and stronger than it was before. In fact, thousands of marriages, situations as complex and painful as yours, have been transformed with the help of professionals who understand where you are right now and care deeply about you and your spouse’s future. You can restore and rebuild your marriage through a personalized, faith-based, intimate program called, Hope Restored.
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Understand How to Respect and Love your Son Well

Why doesn’t my son listen to me? Have you ever asked that question? The truth is, how you see your son and talk to him has a significant effect on how he thinks and acts. That’s why we want to help you. In fact, we’ve created a free five-part video series called “Recognizing Your Son’s Need for Respect” that will help you understand how showing respect, rather than shaming and badgering, will serve to motivate and guide your son.

Reconnected: The Digital Experience

Is the love there, but not the spark? Reawaken fun in your marriage and move from roommates to soulmates again with the help of this 7-part online video experience. Learn how to connect emotionally and spiritually as husband and wife using techniques such as dreaming together and establishing deep, heartfelt communication. The Digital Experience includes 7 teaching videos, an online study guide and access to additional tools and resources to help spouses reconnect.

Next Steps: Marriage Assessment

We want your marriage to be thriving and healthy. Take the free Marriage Assessment from Focus on the Family to learn how to strengthen your bond with your spouse and get the tools to help you need to grow closer together. 

Next Steps: Fruit of the Spirit Devotionals for Couples

The Fruit of the Spirit Devotional is a free series of nine short videos to get you into God’s Word and inspire you to seek the Holy Spirit’s help in loving your spouse.

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