As we drove to the airport, I reflected to my husband, that visiting the grandchildren was really about making memories. Like a slap to the back of the head, the next thought was "GOOD ONES!".
Our times together are fairly short, as they live in another part of the country. We want to be remembered fondly by our grandchildren. Hopefully, our generation's living longer allows us to spend more time with them, up through an age where they will be able to recall later in life. Are we creating the kinds of memories we want?
A few general things to consider:
1. We are guests in our children's homes. Act like guests.
2. We are not our grandchildren's parents. Don't boss them around like we are.
3. Be interested in their lives: school, after school activities, sports, friends, stories they tell, even if you have to fake it!
4. Don't buy stuff for them so they like you. They'll see through that soon enough.
5. Interact and do stuff with them. Throw the baseball, play H.O.R.S.E, Monopoly. Teach them a new skill. They'll be impressed!
6. Stay in touch when you aren't there, with postcards, Skype, quick phone calls, photo websites (photobug, flickr, etc.), there are many easy ways to share your lives.
7. Be FUN, loving and encouraging! This is not a time to complain or nit pick.
Being a grandparent is a great gift. Consider how you want to be remembered. With a little effort, you can make GOOD memories.