Summer vacations are upon us and for many, it will mean having the grandkids visit for an extended period of time. Here are some things that grandparents would like to tell their grandchildren before they get there.
1. Don’t act bored, especially in front of us.
Grandparents understand that most kids would rather be with their friends than hang around a pool in a retirement village. But your friends have you for the other 51 weeks of the year. Grandma and Pa are thrilled you are here and cherish every minute that you are in their company. And it hurts their feelings when you take out your phone and start texting your friends.
2. Please share your life with us.
They want to know what you’re interested in and what your friends are like. Yes, they ask a lot of questions. You know why? Because if they didn’t ask, you wouldn’t tell them.
3. What you see as “judgement” is meant as wisdom-sharing.
A grandmother we know told us how her college granddaughter took great umbrage when she asked about her boyfriend. “I just wanted her to know that even though I married young, I don’t encourage it. She shouldn’t settle down so young,” the woman explained.
4. Try and keep our hours because we really can’t keep yours.
If you stay up until 2 a.m. and then sleep until noon they will miss a lot of time with you. Can everyone agree to a 9 a.m. to midnight schedule for a week? That gives Grandpa time to take you out to the great pancake place for breakfast and for Grandma to not feel like a zombie because she stayed up to watch Jimmy Fallon with you.
5. Consider traveling with us.
No, not to be their sherpa and help them carry their suitcases, but to allow them to see the world through your eyes. It’s a treat for them to see your excitement and sense of adventure.
6. Show us photos on your phone.
Often this is the best way for grandparents to “see” your life. Show them pictures of your friends, the backpacking trip you went on, your school campus. Life is a visual.
7. We aren’t prying.
They are asking about things and people in your life because they want to be a part of it. If the questions feel intrusive, just answer them honestly and move on. “I’m not dating anyone at the moment,” is better than making up a fictitious boyfriend.
8. Don’t be embarrassed if we want to show you off to our friends.
They are proud of you. They are also proud of the fact you came to visit because that makes them feel important. Being nice to their friends is the cherry on the cake and will make your grandparents very happy.
9. Tell us what you eat.
There is nothing worse than when a Grandparent makes his or her special brisket only to learn you stopped eating meat last January. They will do their best to accommodate your dietary needs but they need to know what they are. And if they push a forkful of brisket toward your mouth urging you to “just try it,” be forgiving.
10. Don’t lie to us.
They weren’t born yesterday, after all.