Bridge the Generational Divide: 5 Ways to Connect with Your Grandparents


Maintaining a meaningful a connection with grandparents past childhood can be difficult. You may not have many interests in common and health issues might limit the activities you can enjoy together. The six ideas below will help you spend quality time with the older generation, sharing conversation, teaching and learning from one another, and making memories. The activities work as well for you and one grandparent as they do for a larger family group.

Make a regular board – or card – game date

Topics of conversation can be hard to come by when spending time with grandparents. Playing a game gives you an activity to focus on so you can let the talking come naturally. Find a game you all know, or teach each other your favorites, and make a game date weekly or monthly. If you and your grandparents are tech-savvy, online games offer a great alternative when distance precludes meeting up. Some healthy competition will have you all looking forward to the next showdown.

Launch a joint project

There’s a limit to how many hours you can fill drinking tea and talking about the weather, so embark on a project with your grandparents that you can work on each time you’re together. It could be as ambitious as building a tree house or landscaping the yard, as simple as crafting a patchwork quilt, or as personal as working together on a book of poems, recipes, and anecdotes. Having an end goal will give you all not only something to look forward to, but also a mutual sense of fulfillment when the project’s completed.

Take a trip together

A trip can provide the perfect setting for reconnecting, reminiscing, and making new memories. If budget and health allow, jet set abroad and discover new scenery, culture, and cuisine together. Alternatively, you can visit a location that’s significant to your grandparents, such as the area they grew up in or their college city. Chances are, they’ll be delighted to show you around and share stories from their past. If you need to stay local, a weekend spent cooking, reading, and chatting at a cottage down the road can provide all the adventure you need. Simply being together in a new environment will spark conversation and give you a fond shared experience to look back on together.

Read the same book

Your daily life might look quite different from your grandparents’, so consider stepping into a common fictional world. Choose a book that will get you talking, laughing, or debating. You could read the book aloud together or apart, and then discuss it when you meet or call each other. If your reading preferences vary, alternate who chooses the book, and relish the opportunity to get stuck into something different. Inspiration, education, and friendship await you on your shared literary journey.

Host a joint event

Outside of family gatherings, your grandparents’ social circle probably doesn’t overlap with yours. But bringing friends and generations together can be deeply rewarding for everyone. Host a cocktail party, afternoon tea, or coffee circle with your grandparents, and share the guest list. Some initial games or icebreakers will help to get everyone mingling, and before you know it, the stories and laughter will be flowing. Make it a regular event to allow friendships to develop and to give you and your grandparents a reason to enjoy each other’s company often.

Location, budget, health, and differing social lives needn’t prevent you connecting with your grandparents. With a little effort and creativity, you can nurture a close and special relationship that enriches all of your lives.



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