For many it has been a long and very difficult 18 months since the pandemic began and we were all confined to our homes in quarantine. No one had it much harder then those who were aging in place and were accustomed to seeing their children and grandchildren for visits. When the world shut down these visits stopped and the heartache began.
There is good news of course and that is that with vaccinations for COVID-19 has come visits with grandkids once again. This is welcome news for those who have been isolated from family interactions for the better part of a year and a half. However, reconnecting with your grandkids may actually be a little bit harder then you might think. Keep in mind that the life of a child moves at lightening speed and 18 months can be a lifetime.
If you are going to be able to see your grandkids again safely, there are some things you are going to want to consider so that you can have a wonderful visit for both you and the children. Taking stock of these things now will help you have the perfect visit and get right back into the flow of being with your grandkids now and for the foreseeable future.
- Be patient. Patience is going to be needed as kids will have all sorts of differences from the last time you saw them. Depending on their age, they may be tentative to go to you right away. You may notice discipline issues that weren’t there before. Some children may be standoffish. Giving your grandkids some space to ease back into a relationship is going to paramount to a successful transition.
- Get to know them again. This may require talking with their parents about their likes and dislikes. Life moves pretty fast for little ones and while they might have been enthralled by dinosaurs the last time you saw them, 18 months later they have likely moved on to astronauts.
- If you are the type of grandparent that likes to shower your grandkids with gifts, you can still be that way, but don’t go overboard. You don’t have to make up for 18 months of no surprises with one major gift dump the first time you see your grandchild. This could be overwhelming to them and increase anxiety.
- Keep it small. Reconnecting with your grandchild can be something as simple as reading a new book together or learning a new skill together. You don’t have to do anything grandiose to get back into their life’s routine. Just being there and being together will be enough for you both.
It is so incredibly exciting that we are talking about the ability for anyone who has been aging in place for the last year and a half to be able to get together with the ones they love and get back to some sense of normalcy. There may be some new things to navigate, but it will feel just like riding a bike after a while. Just remember to take it slow and that everyone is coming out of COVID-19 with different outlooks so you should never force a feeling or an event on someone until they are ready.