Are you stumped by what to give on Grandparents Day? Forgot Grandparents Day was coming up? Didn’t know there was a Grandparents Day?
Well, look no further. Here’s the secret to being the favorite in the family. Just give these two gifts to your elders and you’ll quickly move to the top of the list. By the way, Grandparents Day is this Sunday, Sept. 11.
Based on my experience with elders, I would say these two things stand out as real favorites:
- Give them time, and
- Give them an ear
Time – They may or may not want to go out with you. They may look forward to an outing with family – to a restaurant, to go shopping or to a movie. But they may not. Grandparents can sometimes get uncomfortable leaving their home or residence, even if you think they should enjoy it. What they all do want, though, is time with YOU! The best gift you can give them is your time.
Take the kids or take your own grandkids and settle in for a good visit. You can ask if they’d enjoy an outing. They may say yes and they may say no. What I can guarantee is that they will want some quality time with you. Give them that time. Uninterrupted by phones, devices, or distractions. That will be a gift that they will cherish and enjoy the memories of, long after Grandparents’ Day is over. Even if you live too far for a personal visit, visit by phone. And, don’t play solitaire while you’re talking. 🙂
Listen – Grandparents (like all of us) want to be heard. They have things that they want to share with you. While you are spending the time mentioned above, make sure you are prepared to listen without distraction. Ask them how they are doing and take the time to hear the answer. Ask them to tell you about one of their favorite memories. Get them excited about comparing a time when they were younger to a similar situation that you or your kids are experiencing now. Engage them in a conversation about current events and ask how the events of today compare to earlier times that they lived through. Ask their advice on an issue that perplexes you. You may choose to use their advice or you may not – but the feeling that they will have from being asked is invaluable.
It’s not the quantity; it’s the quality that is the gift on Grandparents’ Day.