Long Term Resolutions

The dawn of the New Year means there is a party preceding it, which in turn means lots of planning and shopping for New Year’s Eve. What am I doing writing this instead of organizing things?

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party planes play by woodley wonder works

Resolutions

As a family, we did not write out our resolutions for the New Year, but have decided to adopt a few basic changes, which we think will be good for us – some realistic long term resolutions, we can stay with. We think this is a better way to bring positive change in our lives.

Being Better Organized

Well, as a start to being better organized next year, Maya and I have planned the party a little in advance. Yes, it’s true. Invites are out, menus are planned and shopping is done. As a part of the exercise, the kids have also decided on trying to be better organized. For a start, they have planned a few games for the kids. I like this better that having the kids slink off to various sofas and bean bags only to play online puzzle games  or pet games on their individual devices. Games played together, I believe, are wonderful for bonding.

Enjoying Every Day

We are going to enjoy every day, so that we have no regrets after our kids are all grown up. Our kids are key to our happiness, so it makes sense to enjoy our moments with them. As a part of this, we are frequently going to pick small family projects and work on them. This will not only help the kids explore their skills, but it will also be a fun activity to work on together, even as we create fun moments.

Letting Go

Within families, there is always the occasional argument, and sometimes we carry them with us. Well, we will try to inculcate the habit of ‘letting go‘. Why carry bad memories? It is simpler to let them go and build newer and happier memories for ourselves. This way the future is not complicated by the past.

A Starting Point

We can start new habits whenever we want. There are no set days or patterns. It’s just a tradition to have New Year Resolutions. Though not mandatory, it’s a nice touch to start new thing at the New Year. A sense of newness makes all of us open to change, and being open to change is key to bring about change.

Well, do try and bring positive change into your lives. Happy New Year and have a great year ahead!

 

Bonding with Grandparents

A post from my wife Maya. Perhaps its the upcoming holiday, that made her write this post.

My grandmother is a quiet person, and I don’t have memories of conversations or bedtime stories. What I do remember is the unconditional love that I received. Since becoming a parent and watching my parents and in-laws become grandparents, I have a new found appreciation for the role grandparents play in the lives of their grandchildren.

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Grandparents and Pupa” by Juhan Sonin is licensed under CC BY 2.0

That said, not all grandparent-grandchild relationships progress easily. Sometimes distance hinders the development of a meaningful relationship. In other cases, the generation gap may make one or both parties feel uncertain about how to connect with one another. Then there are cases where blended families or trouble between family members come in the way of a smooth relationship. However, with a little effort and the readiness to try new things, there are many ways in which you can overcome obstacles and help your children build a meaningful relationship with their grandparents.

Even if the kids already have a great relationship with their grandparents, encourage them to try out the ideas listed below to add more fun and excitement to their time together. And if you happen to be a grandparent, these tips are for you as well.

  1. Keeping in touch. If the grandparents aren’t in touch with the kids, that’s the first place to start. If you live close-by make sure to take the kids over on a regular basis, and also to invite the grandparents home. If you live in different cities, use technology to bridge the distance between you. Rather than making phone calls, use Skype or Google hangout so that you can see each other as you talk. If your kids are really young, keep the grandparents updated about their milestones and send them pictures, videos and voice recordings of the kids on a regular basis. As they grow older, you still play an important role in fostering the bond between them. Keep the grandparents informed about important events in the kids’ lives so that they have something to talk about when they interact with each other. Whether you use email or regular mail, encourage the kids to write letters to their grandparents. Grandparents, send the kids small, inexpensive gifts in the mail. That will certainly get them excited about receiving mail from you.
  1. Hanging out together online. Video conferencing is one thing, and hanging out online is another. The internet is an important part of kids’ lives and it will mean a lot to them if their grandparents make an effort to connect with them online. Play different kinds of online games with your grandchildren and see how it instantly changes your relationship for the better. A kid-friendly virtual world game is best for this purpose, as it means that you and your grandkids can chat and have fun adventures together without you worrying about your arthritis or keeping up with them. If you’re having trouble understanding the game, ask the kids for help! For younger kids, you can try out the website Grandparent Games, which is all about connecting with grandkids and being a part of their early learning.
  1. Teaching the kids a new skill. Do you have a hobby that you think you could introduce to the kids? Gardening? Fishing? Baking? Knitting? Kids are quick and eager learners, and they will love spending time with you learning a new skill. Give them the first few lessons when you are physically there with them, and later on your hobby can be a great way to connect over long distances.
  1. Sharing stories of the past. Kids love hearing stories about when the adults in their lives were kids just like them. Who better to tell these stories than the one who was there for it all? Tell the kids interesting and funny stories about when their parents, aunts and uncles were kids. Don’t forget to talk about your own childhood as well.
  1. Building a family tree. Help the kids get to know their extended family by building a family tree with them. The kids are likely to have lots of questions about the people they aren’t very familiar with, and talking about them is a great way for you to bond with the kids.
  1. Vacationing together. Traveling is always a great way to bond. Take the grandkids with you on a vacation they’ll never forget. If this isn’t a viable option for you, even a simple day trip will do. If you live in different cities, you can spend a day taking them to all the local tourist attractions in your hometown.

There are many other small ways in which you can strengthen the bond between grandparents and grandkids. I’d love to know what activities your family does together to help build this invaluable relationship.