Grandfather reading to grandson

Roots and Wings: Visiting with Grandchildren (Part 1 of 4)

“A wise woman once said to me that there are only two lasting bequests we can hope to give our children. One of these is roots; the other, wings.”
– Hodding Carter

As parents and grandparents, one of the greatest joys in our lives is watching future generations thrive, grow and carry on traditions that have meaning for our families. It’s a desire to leave a legacy – whether emotionally, monetarily or otherwise – so that you will be remembered long after you have left this earth. It’s also a desire to see your loved ones have and take advantage of all the opportunities life has to offer.

“This idea of finding ways to pass on your beliefs and values while providing opportunities for your grandchildren are fundamental and universal,” says Andrea Campisi, Marketing and Admissions Director of The Reutlinger Community, a Continuing Care Retirement Community in Danville, CA. “Traditions help define who we are and link us to our past while providing a foundation for the future.”

We call this philosophy Roots and Wings. It’s the dual approach of building a sense of “home” and what it means to be “your family” alongside the forward-thinking, innovative freedom of a future full of possibilities. These are both gifts that will continue to nurture and strengthen future generations for years to come.

In this four-part series, we explore different ways for seniors to share roots and wings with their children, grandchildren and other loved ones. From passing on traditions to building a legacy to helping shape a stable future, there are many ways you can build meaningful moments that will echo far into the future.

Visiting Your Grandchildren: Making Meaningful Moments Happen

Most grandparents would say that building and maintaining strong relationships between them and their grandchildren is important. Spending time with grandchildren allows you to be a part of their lives and gives you the opportunity to share life skills, instill values and pass along stories and wisdom. Plus, it’s incredibly enjoyable to watch them as they grow, and there are many things you can learn from them, too!

Whether you live in the same town as your grandchildren or are half a world away, here are some ways to make the most of your time together and forge a special bond between you and the youngest members of your family.

Go outside.
Kids, especially when they’re younger, get a kick out of outdoor activities – no matter what the season! Building a snowman, splashing in the pool, jumping in a pile of leaves or picking spring flowers are all enjoyable things to do as the weather turns. Need some more ideas? Check out below:

  • Plant for the future. Growing flowers, vegetables or even a tree provide fun now and in the future. Discuss with your grandchild what you’d like to do and what your future plans for the plant are. Will you use the herbs to cook the next time you or they are in town? Will the tree you’ve planted be a perfect place for picnicking?
  • Start an outdoor hobby together. Do you or your grandchild enjoy birdwatching? Identifying leaves? Collecting bugs? Playing soccer? Finding an activity that you can do together (and when you’re apart) creates a great opportunity to make memories and give both of you something to look forward to the next time you’re together.
  • Enjoy outdoor events. Head to the farmers market or grab a lawn chair and watch fireworks. Cheer on a local sports team or walk to a nearby ice cream parlor. Whatever the season, find something that’s going on in a nearby town and make a day out of it!

Spend time indoors.
Reading books together, baking cookies, doing art projects … many of our most cherished memories happen indoors. Choose a favorite activity or look below for an idea starter:

  • Share family stories. Drag out the old family photo albums or show off slides from the family vacation you took with their parents when they were children. You and your grandchild could also write out your family history and create a family tree. With services like Ancestry.com and others, it’s easier than ever to research your history.
  • Teach each other a favorite activity. Maybe you want to learn how to play Fortnite and your grandchild wants to learn how to knit. Teach each other the things you love to do –it’s an instant bonding experience.
  • Learn a new activity together. Long-term projects can be an excellent way to share interests and carry on something for longer than an afternoon. Learn how to make dishes from different cultures, or start a blog about your time together.

Connect from afar.
Grandparents who live far away have options these days to bond and stay connected to their grandchildren. From low- to high-tech, the options for a quick hello or a meaningful heart to heart have made quality time from afar easier than ever.

  • Call, text or FaceTime them. Instilling the importance of a phone call is a great way to have a conversation with your grandchild. If possible, you can set a time every week to chat, even if for only a little bit. You can do the same thing with a Skype or FaceTime chat. If your grandchildren are old enough to have personal phones, don’t forget that a little text can have meaning, too.
  • Play online games together. Games like Words with Friends, Monopoly and more are online versions of classic board games that you can play together even when you’re miles apart.

Go old school with snail mail. Getting a handwritten letter or a package in the mail is a big deal these days. Show your grandchild how magical the mail can be by exchanging letters and care packages on a regular basis. Best of all, you may get a letter back!

Spending time with grandchildren is a very special way to get to know each other on a deeper level. By using your creativity, you and your grandchildren can spend quality time together and make a lifetime of memories.

For more information about our community, our culture and our mission and values, please contact us at 925-272-0261.

Premier Senior Living, Dedicated Care

Offering Assisted Living, Enhanced Assisted Living, Memory Care, Skilled Nursing and  Rehabilitation, The Reutlinger Community provides a continuum of care that allows seniors to live a life-enhancing and stimulating environment. Located in Danville, California, The Reutlinger Community’s newly renovated, 110,000 square foot community combines the comfort and familiarity of home with seasoned senior care and skilled nursing specialists to suit any seniors needs, allowing them to live the life they choose with freedom and security.

Because we specialize in a continuum of care, our residents never need to worry about leaving the community they call home or wonder what will happen when they need some more care. Residents and families alike can have peace of mind knowing that there are full-time licensed nurses available, along with activity coordinators, social workers, caregivers, a concierge and Rabbi who focus solely on helping each resident thrive. Even better, our services and amenities are equal to those of a state-of-the-art resort. This is the lifestyle and care that your loved one deserves.

At The Reutlinger, seniors have numerous opportunities to engage in award-winning programs that are designed to engage the mind, renew the spirit and provide opportunities to meet new people and learn something new. Whether residents are enjoying our art program and museum, listening to a lecture or educational program or attending spiritual programming and our wide range of activities, there’s something for each resident to love. Participate as much or as little as you like, the choice is all yours.

For more information or to schedule a personal tour, contact us today.