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Connecting grandchildren with their grandparents.

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Dale Atkins, PhD and Amanda Salzhauer

Family / / November 20, 2018

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Connecting grandchildren with their grandparents.

We all love to get our children together with our parents, but sometimes we need ideas on how to connect that generational divide. A great way for your child to connect with a grandparent or other older relative is to look at an old photo album together. Some kids have no trouble talking with and relating to older adults, other kids find it challenging. Giving them something concrete to do together--particularly an activity through which they will learn about each other--can help. 

You might want to take time to prep both the older and younger generation before they begin. 

  • Ask your older relative to narrate as they go through the album. She might tell your child details about her own childhood like her favorite toy or game, how she got to school, and ways she learned the news when she was young (did she go on a computer, listen to a radio, watch a TV, read a newspaper?). 
  • Then, she can ask your child ways her experience is similar to or different from his. You might also ask her to point out things like household items, cars, and more that looked and functioned differently when she was a child. ​
  • Your child, in turn, can ask specific questions (you might want to help him brainstorm a few before seeing your relative) such as “What was your favorite food when you were my age?” or “Tell me more about that person since I see them in lots of your photos.” or “Did you have any pets and are there pictures of them?” 

Seeing photos from an older relative’s childhood will help your child visualize what her world looked like. Of course, remind your child that he can share photos of himself with his pets, doing his favorite activities, and with his friends. Talking about and comparing their experiences may help them relate to each other in a new way. And that will help strengthen this intergenerational connection. 

Categories: Aging Parents, Family
About The Author
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Dale Atkins, PhD and Amanda Salzhauer, MSW are co-authors of The Kindness Advantage: Cultivating Compassionate and Connected Children. Dale and Amanda are an aunt and niece time. In The Kindness Advantage, they share experiences from their work lives and values from their own families. They draw on current, scientific evidence and research in the fields of happiness and child development, offer advice and activities to teach kids empathy and inspire a culture of compassion and connection, and share real life stories of kids who are making a difference. 

 

Dale is a frequent guest psychologist on NBC’s TODAY and many other TV and radio shows. She is a licensed psychologist with more than forty years of experience as a relationship expert focusing on families, wellness. Managing stress, and living a balanced, meaningful life. She has two adult children and six grandchildren. Amanda has spent many years as a social worker in clinics and private practice, which has given her a deep understanding of children, family, and community dynamics. In addition to her field experience cultivating on-on-one relationships, she had been a force for progress through her participation as a board member of several leading nonprofit organizations. She has three teenage daughters. 

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