Grandparents Play an Important Role in a Childs Life

(ARA) Whether they see them every day or just once or twice a year, grandparents enrich their grandchildrens lives in so many ways. They provide stability, share life lessons and family history, serve as role models and friends.

Numerous studies have shown that kids who have strong connections to their grandparents are far more likely to grow up to be loving, confident adults; and one of the best ways to make connections with young children is through play. Cathy Milota, 61, of Minneapolis, Minn., says she knows that from experience.

Its so fun when you watch kids play, listen and figure things out, says Milota. Its just such a joy to see their imaginations and creativity come to life. Milota and her husband, Bill, dont see their grandsons, Braden, 7, and Truman, 4, as often as they would like because the boys live hundreds of miles away in Louisville, Ky., but when they do get together, they make the most of it.

We play hide and seek, go on treasure hunts, build things with them, and play trains. I bet when they get older, one of their most vivid memories of childhood is going to be playing with their Bapa and Nana and their BRIO train set, says Milota. Every time we visit with the boys, we go down to the basement, gather up all the train cars, and just play.

The Moltas daughter bought the BRIO train set shortly after the birth of her oldest son. They now have quite a collection of tracks, cars and accessories, so many in fact that their daughter invested in a BRIO train table to keep everything orderly.

Play is just one of the ways grandparents can stay connected to their grandchildren. According to Civitas, a not-for-profit communication group that provides educational tools for millions of parents and caregivers, others include sharing family history and culture, reading books together, showing interest in and praising a childs work and play, and telling silly stories.

Even if great distances separate grandparents and grandchildren, you can stay in touch through frequent phone calls, letters or e-mail. Whatever way you choose, the relationship you build with your grandchildren will benefit them -- and bring you joy -- for years to come.

Courtesy of ARA Content

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