Laying down the Law: Rules to Follow When Bringing Grandchildren to Visit Their Grandparents

Laying down the Law: Rules to Follow When Bringing Grandchildren to Visit Their Grandparents

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Bringing grandchildren to visit their grandparents is a process that has the potential to benefit everyone involved. However, at the same time, it requires established… rules in order to go smoothly and the benefits are twofold. On the one hand, children get the pleasure of being able to see and talk to their grandparents, who often treat them to stories or gifts that kids can look back on much later and appreciate. On the other hand, grandparents can see their grandkids and watch them grow up through these visiting arrangements, even if they are not able to live very close to them geographically.

However, as a parent, you’ll want to make sure that these visits can proceed without any problems, especially if your kids are younger and are not used to visiting their grandparents. That’s why having rules to follow when bringing your kids to visit grandma and grandpa are essential. Not only do they help kids adjust to a process that they may not be familiar with, but they also ensure that the children will be on their best behavior and that the grandparents can better appreciate the time that they have together.

So, what are some rules to follow when bringing kids to visit their grandparents? Here are a few suggestions:


1. Talk to your kids about what to expect.

Visiting grandparents at an assisted living facility is a new experience that most children will not be prepared for or know how to react to. As a result, you should do your best to prepare kids so that they know what to expect and thus can behave when they actually experience the visit. Talk to your kids about what they will see when they are there: people using walkers and wheelchairs, smells that they may not be used to, unusual sounds such as yelling or people talking to themselves, and the overall presence of many unfamiliar people.

Kids should also understand whether other children will be there at the same time as they are; whether there are any topics that they should avoid bringing up around their grandparents; and a general timeline of the day, such as when you will get to the visitation location, how long you will stay and what you are planning to do.


2. Pack accordingly.

The younger your kids are, the more you will likely have to pack in order to prepare to visit grandparents. However, in general, a packing list should include some of the more basic items. First, consider comfort; bringing a pillow for a baby or younger child can be a good opportunity to prevent them from becoming cranky over a lack of sleep, and snacks can placate them if they are hungry. You should also bring some toys for kids to play with in their downtime, although you will want them to be focused when they are interacting with their grandparents.


3. Establish rules on what to do and what not to do.

It is important for kids to know what rules they have to follow when they arrive to visit their grandparents. A big one: speaking with an inside voice. Caution your kids not to yell, scream or otherwise cause a disturbance, and remind them of this several times (including when they are actually at the location) in order to make sure that they understand and remember what they are supposed to do. Other rules to follow: don’t stare at people, don’t run or jump around, and do feel free to talk to residents politely.


4. Get kids involved in activities.

One of the best ways to get your kids to look forward to visiting their grandparents – and thus to get them to behave when they do come – is to have them participate in activities, which will provide a bonding experience as well as a fun way to pass the time. For example, you can have kids join in wellness activities such as yoga or cardiovascular exercise with their grandparents, which will not only get them more fit but also make use of their boundless energy. You can also have them eat at the residential facility’s dining areas, which kids will always enjoy and grandparents will be glad to do.

Of course, make sure to check the rules beforehand to know if your kids can participate in these areas of residential life. Ultimately, these activities are what your kids will remember after they return home, and you can talk to them about what their visit to their grandparents was like, and will create positive associations that will have kids feel happy about going back the next time.

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*This blog was first published here: Sunshine Retirement Living

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