Unexpected joys and special bonds that last a lifetime
Grandparenting can take many forms , depending on both need and circumstances . Because of geography , lifestyle and time limitations , some grandparents only see their grandchildren a few times a year , trying to pack a lot of memories into a short period of time .
Other grandparents might take their grandchildren for the weekend or overnight frequently , making memories slowly but steadily .
And more than ever , many grandparents are finding themselves stepping into the role of parent , caring day to day for grandchildren because of difficult circumstances .
Whatever the dynamic , most grandparents who connect effectively with their grandchildren seem to find a way to play a teaching role – passing on what they have spent decades learning to a new generation .
For one grandparent profiled here , much of that teaching and sharing happens in the summer , when she leads a camp-style series of events for her grandchildren . They work together to enjoy nature , to learn about science and to do crafts together .
One grandfather finds he does some of his best teaching and memory-making when he takes his grandchildren hunting and fishing – something he was able to first do with his uncle decades ago .. Another grandparent – actually a step-great-grandmother – started out as a holiday , weekend and summertime grandparent , but now finds herself caring for a child full-time , shuttling her to basketball , volleyball and softball games , as well as art classes .
“ I think whatever grandparents do , it ’ s important to find ways to connect – to really be intentional and to make those memories ,” said Kathy Brookshire , who plans and executes a week of camp-style activities with her grandchildren each summer . “ They need to really learn to understand their grandchildren as individuals . Both grandparents and grandchildren can get a lot out of learning from each other and spending time together . It ’ s something so valuable – you can ’ t even begin to explain how important those relationships are !”