Caring

Ben Squires

7 tips for talking to your grandkids

7 tips for talking to your grandkids

Children can sometimes be difficult creatures to talk to but we’ve got seven tips for a good conversation with your grandchildren.

Skip boring questions:

Don’t waste your time asking, “how is school” – the only answer you’ll get is “good” and by the time you think of something else to say your grandchild will be busy looking up something on the iPad. You'll find a much more engaging conversation if you utilise questions that are open-ended, focussed and sometimes a little bit silly.

Best vs. worst

Questions focussed on superlatives — "What's been the best thing about this summer?" "What's the worst thing about this town?" — usually prod a peep from even the quiet kids. A great way to inspire them to speak up is by offering your own response first and then encourage them to respond off the back of yours.

Never have I ever…

Believe it or not you are probably one of the most interesting, inspiring and very special people in their lives. They want to know about you (yes, that means you’re your dirty little secrets too). Inspire them, move them, encourage them – on the basis of your very own life stories.

Have a laugh

No one likes a “Debby downer.” Lighten up a bit, when you’re around your grandkids allow your inner child to come out. This is extremely important – sometimes with age we forget that absolutely no number, means no fun. If you’re not good with jokes, then maybe try a few cheeky things like embarrassing them out in public by wearing something unusual to what you usually would or go shopping and try on the exact same outfits as them – remember you can be as cool as them, maybe even cooler!

Sharing

When you teach grandchildren talents you’ve learnt in life, you give them the greatest gift of all – unforgettable skills. Be it manners, sewing or tools in the shed – you not only transmit skills they'll forever use, but you create opportunities to discuss the history behind you and who taught you these skills and why you find them important to know now and in the future pass on to your own kids. Don’t be shy to ask them things in return – all grandkids love setting their grans and pas up with a Facebook account.

The language of food

Food and conversation go together like a house on fire. Serve a batch of your favourite cookies with a real story behind them – for instance, who you got the recipe from, what your grandparents used to make for you. My favourite thing to do with my grandma was cook. Those special moments making a mess in the kitchen whip up a recipe of memories and skills for the future.

Dive in the deep end

Don’t be afraid to dive deep into conversation. Manifest the magic of having answers to all their fears, worries, hopes and dreams – even the meaning of life. Discuss serious things at all ages, ponder important questions while you gaze at the stars, tan at the beach or show them photographs from your childhood.

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