I remember my grandmother’s tactics to pull me away from my busy, social life. Now, I’m employing some of those same ideas with my teenage grandkids. Want to give them a try?
My paternal grandmother lived with us. She had had ten kids and wasn’t easily fooled with all the busyness in the house. When she wanted us to slow down, she would start singing.
She had a lovely voice, and that certainly got our attention, but that wasn’t the point. She chose her lyrics carefully.
There were songs about walking in the garden, the country roads, birds that sang in the tallest trees and something about rocking babies in the good old days.
In addition, if she wanted to go to the store, she said nothing. She put on her hat and shoes and sat by the door with her purse.
She was a master of silent communication.
Now that I’m a grandmother, I see the need to slow down my own grands. Sometimes, we’re in the best position to do so. See if these tips work for you.
- Ask them to make you something in the kitchen. Anything. They’ll probably need instructions with the coffee pot or how much sugar to put in your tea. Enjoy the conversation.
- Tell them about a news item you just read. If it’s about computers, video games, top-money-making careers or a celebrities status, you may get their attention.
- If they frequently spend time with friends, ask them to tell you about their personalities and things they enjoy. Your granddaughters will often delight to give you all the details.
Slowing the pace out in nature
Try your best to get your older grandkids outside. Unless they’re sports enthusiasts, they probably stay indoors much of the day. Therefore, time spent outdoors not only opens avenues of communication but is good for the psyche.
And an extended walk can slow down the most determined teen. Talk about what you see and hear. If memories are sparked, it’s a good time to share them.
Finally, be aware that your teenage grandkids may reluctantly oblige at first, but don’t lose heart. They have no idea they’re going to enjoy the downtime and rarely do they figure that grandma had it all planned.