By Eleanor Beeslaar
Encourage open and honest communication with your grandchild. Not only will this help strengthen your relationship, but it will also help your grandchild feel comfortable to talk to you about their feelings and struggles related to this new situation. Your grandchild may have questions, concerns, and complicated feelings about you taking over the role of primary caregiver, and it is important for them to feel like they can come to you for answers and comfort.
Here are some tips to help promote open and honest communication with your grandchild:
- Encourage your grandchild to talk about their feelings.
- Ask you grandchild questions and check-in when you notice that they seem sad or upset.
- Help you grandchild identify their emotions. You can do this by asking questions about what they are feeling.
- Plan time to talk with your grandchild. This will ensure that you are both free of distractions and have quality time to connect.
When considering what and/or how much to tell your grandchild about the situation, keep the following in mind. Take your grandchild’s developmental stage into consideration and only tell them as much as they need to know. Telling your grandchild too many details may make it harder for them to understand and lead to them feeling confused and overwhelmed. It is also important to avoid telling your grandchild too little. By talking to your grandchild about what is happening with developmentally appropriate information, they will feel more comfortable with discussing this in the future and coming to you with questions.
We hope this information will help you communicate openly and honestly with your grandchild, while strengthening your relationship with one another!