How to enjoy a visit with your Grandparents
You’re going to visit your grandparents. Are you excited? Complaining? Really angry that you have to leave all your friends and activities for a time? All of those are normal responses and many times you have all of those feelings running through your brain at once.
A visit with your grandparents can be enjoyable but it’s something that you have to decide to do. Yes, you can take your video games. Probably not your bicycle and skateboard, unless your folks are driving.
Now, look at what I’ve written above. Where has the focus been? Do you see that it’s all on you? It’s time to stop and think about your grandparents. You’re going to visit them. What can you do to make your visit with your grandparents be more enjoyable for them?
A list of don’t’s when you visit with your grandparents.
I’m going to give you a list of some don’ts to start you off.
- Don’t have your music on too loud so that conversations are drowned out. If you’re listening to your music, use your earbuds. And be sure to be aware when you’re wearing them if your grandparents are trying to say something to you.
- Don’t take overlong showers. If you’re staying at your grandparents home, there are a number of people using probably only one extra bathroom. Your grandparents may have a water heater with limited hot water. Don’t leave cold water for the next person and remember that someone is waiting to get in the bathroom when you finish. Also, your grandparents may be charged for water usage and living on a fixed income means a hefty water bill when you leave is not good.
- Very often grandparents forget how much growing teens eat. There may be times when you leave the table hungry while you’re there. When food is passed, look around and make sure there is enough food left on the serving dishes to make it all the way around the table. If you’re still hungry, let a parent know after the meal and maybe a quick trip out for pizza or a fast food restaurant may be in order.
Some more don’ts that are safety concerns
- Be very careful where you leave things, especially on walkways that are used by your grandparents. Their eyesight may be poorer and they may be using pathways so regularly that they don’t look down to see what’s on the floor. Keep your stuff picked up and organized.
- Don’t take off without telling someone where you are going. Grandparents tend to worry more than parents and besides, you don’t know the rules and dangers in the area yet.
- Don’t pick up collectibles to examine them without asking your grandparents. Surprisingly some of them may be very valuable or deeply treasured. Careful as you are, this may cause added stress to your grandparents. Better to admire and ask about anything you are interested in.
Some suggestions for activities when you visit with your grandparents
Okay, Nana – what can we do when we visit without grandparents? Yes – Nana has a list of those things too.
- First off there are the usual things you would normally do at home if your friends weren’t around – you know – like tv, read a book, play video games or on the internet.
- Do you like to cook? Offering to fix a meal – even if it’s getting out cold cuts for sandwiches.
- Is the grocery store within walking distance – could you offer to do the shopping? Or pick up something that is needed. Here you might also ask your parents if they need anything.
- Offer to do some heavy cleaning – like scrubbing floors or that cleaning down tiles and floors in the bathrooms. Take a look around for anything that looks like it needs some work and offers to pitch in and do it. This includes clearing the tables after meals and either loading the dishwasher or doing dishes and pots and pans in the sink.
Activities where you may learn something about your grandparents
- Listen in on conversations with your parents and grandparents to discover the topics of interest. Many times you will find you have contributions to the conversations or questions that will help you know both your parents and grandparents better.
- Do you play an instrument? Or sing? Maybe there’s a board game in the house that you could get everyone interested in playing. Or a puzzle. Have you ever worked with a group on a large puzzle? It’s lots of fun.
Find activities where you will shine when you visit with your grandparents
Something you should be ready for when you visit your grandparents – They are very proud of you, even though it may sometimes feel like you’re being ignored. If they live in a retirement community, they will at some point want to introduce you to their neighbors and friends. Having questions to ask these new people will make you stand out and make your grandparents be even prouder. Good questions to ask:
- where did the people come from?
- when did they move there?
- what did they do before retirement? (You may find someone who had a career you are interested in who will give you some great tips.)
Finding the time to talk to your grandparents about things you want to ask them is difficult when your parents are along on the visit. Take advantage of times when they are out or busy. Use those questions you got at the start here.
Thoughts from Nana for you to consider
Remember that the time spent with your grandparents is limited. You will be going off to college or are there already and will be starting your career and independence from home. There aren’t going to be that many more visits with them. Store up memories for when they are gone.
Most of all, accept the love they have for you. And try to show it back. Watch how your parents interact with their parents. Are these behaviors you want to do with them someday? Sometimes you learn much more from watching and listening than you can learn from a book or online. Enjoy your visit. And store away memories to treasure.
Love, Hugs, and Prayers,
“We can justify our every deed,
but God looks at our motives.”
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