With Singapore’s ageing population, intergenerational bonding is more important than ever. Grandparents and grandchildren may not always understand and bond well with each other due to differences in viewpoint or experience, but having a good relationship can greatly benefit both the young and old. Here are a few tips for grandparents to build a good cross-generational relationship with their grandkids.

Be fun to have fun

It’s no secret that kids like to have a good time, so bonding with grandchildren can be made much easier by encouraging them to enjoy being with their grandparents. Take them on outings, go for walks, don’t be afraid to join in their games, and generally take an interest in your grandchild’s life to help them feel comfortable towards you and enjoy time spent with you. Like any relationship, interest, and enjoyment are key social glues that unite people, and it is certainly no different here. So put in a little effort to put a smile on your grandchild’s face, and you both will enjoy the joy of that shared memory for years to come.

Share experiences

The age gap is often the dividing factor in intergenerational relationships, but you can easily turn that into a strength by sharing life experiences. As a grandparent, you can share stories of your childhood and life with your younger relative, and offer guidance and advice in day-to-day matters. This can both help them see you as more of an individual to befriend and interest them in your life. Of course, communicating is a two-way street, so take the time to ask them about their thoughts, interests, and experiences so that you can relate to them better too. Use the age gap to build a beautiful bridge of understanding and benefit from each other’s perspectives.

Try to learn

You certainly can teach an old dog new tricks, so don’t be afraid to learn a thing or two from your grandchildren. Grandparents are often used to doling out advice, but young people also have a lot to offer, and the process of teaching and learning can build up trust and rapport between the generations. Youngsters tend to better grasp the modern world they are growing up in and often have unique and valuable opinions. So don’t hesitate to ask about anything you need help in – be it technology questions or advice on running the house. Improve your daily life and bond with your grandkids at the same time. It’s a win-win!

Prepare a family meal together

Nothing beats the satisfaction of a meal with family, except a meal made by family! Get busy in the kitchen with your grandchild and show off any family recipes you have in store. Be sure to keep younger grandchildren safe by handling knives and flames yourself, but there are always other ways they can chip in to help. This is a great bonding activity as it allows cooperation and working together towards a common goal. It also gives you the time and space to converse with them outside the busyness of daily life. And of course, the bonus is that delicious meal to share after.