Organise an inter-generational trip
Whether it’s an afternoon at the Peranakan Museum or a week together on holiday, spending enjoyable time together as an extended family allows for better understanding between generations and a chance to learn from each other.
Plan regular extended family meals
Mealtimes are always an ideal way to build language and communication skills, especially when children can “catch” a grandparent’s dialect or language (if it’s different from their own). When they eat together, children can practise social skills, while showing grandma and grandpa how nicely they can eat and how polite they can be.
Involvement in daily routines
Grandparents who do not see their grandchildren often are likely to jump at the opportunity to spend more time with them. They could read the bedtime story, take over the school run, go to their swimming lesson, or even help with homework. The grandparent will feel a part of their grandchild’s life, while the little one will feel proud to show grandpa where, what, how and whom!
Speak well of your parents (or in-laws)
Mention the grandparents in your conversations regularly even if they don’t live with you, such as by talking about your own childhood with them. Did your dad do something funny to try to make you laugh, or a favourite dish your mum would cook for you? How did they look when they were younger? Arouse your children’s curiosity, so they’ll want to get to know their grandparents better.
Encourage regular communication
Encourage intergenerational communication through letter writing, birthday and thank-you cards and, if they live overseas — Skype. Today, there is no reason why grandparents cannot be a regular part of their grandchildren’s lives, whatever the distance.