Grandfather involvement

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from teaperson. Show teaperson's posts

    Grandfather involvement

    My father loves his grandchildren -- but in an abstract sort of way.  He loves to show off their photos, and show them off to acquaintances.  Yet he almost never wants to interact with them.  He'll come over to visit and then sit and talk with us or his ladyfriend instead of with the kids.  Anyone have any ideas on how to involve him with them?  He's 80.  They're 6.
     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from misslily. Show misslily's posts

    Re: Grandfather involvement

    I don't have children (yet) but I do have an 80 year old father and three nieces.
    I think you need to be active about involving your dad with your kids.  Can you all play a game of Candyland together?  Can you get him to suggest pictures they can draw for him? Would he read them a story if they sat still long enough?  If you got out the Legos, would he help them build something?
    I'm sure he loves them and he simply doesn't know how to interact.  You need to plan ahead so when he visits you've devised something the family can all do together.
    Good luck!
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from Daisy75. Show Daisy75's posts

    Re: Grandfather involvement

    [QUOTE]My father loves his grandchildren -- but in an abstract sort of way.  He loves to show off their photos, and show them off to acquaintances.  Yet he almost never wants to interact with them.  He'll come over to visit and then sit and talk with us or his ladyfriend instead of with the kids.  Anyone have any ideas on how to involve him with them?  He's 80.  They're 6.
    Posted by teaperson[/QUOTE]

    I'm not sure if your kids are too young/too active for something like this, but given that you father likes to show off pictures of his grandkids to other people, maybe turn that around and have him show old pictures of other family members to your kids?  I know that when my grandmother died (I was 10), she had boxes and boxes and dozens of photo albums FULL of black and white photos and hardly any of them were labelled.  Some of my older aunts and uncles were able to identify a few people or locations here and there, but for the most part, they're a mystery.  I did sit down with my aunts and uncles when I was a teenager (I had been very close to my grandmother) when they attempted to sort through them, and it was a monumental task.  I, of course, couldn't identify anything in any of them, but I got to hear a lot of stories and learn quite a bit about my family's history as my aunts and uncles went through the photos.  Again, I don't know if it's age-appropriate for your kids, but maybe working with your father on putting together a family history album with some of his old photos would be a way for your father to share stories with them and help your kids learn more about your grandfather and other extended family?

    Another thing I did when I was about 8 or 9 was interview my grandmother and record it on a cassette tape (these days, a camcorder would be better!).  I got the idea out of a kid's magazine I subscribed to and there was a list of sample questions to ask.  Since these were the days when video cameras were only just starting to become available, that really wasn't an option, but just having the recording of my grandmother's voice and her answers to my questions is priceless.  In the interview, I learned that her proudest achievement in life was "bringing up eleven kids" and that her biggest mistake in life was marrying her husband(!).  When I did the interview, I really didn't "get" the magnitude of these answers, but as an adult, it's really amazing to listen to this recording and put it together with stories I've heard about her from other people as an adult.  And since I wasn't able to know her personally as an adult, having all of this information gives me a much better understanding of what an amazing woman she was.

    At any rate, those are my suggestions.  If your father likes to talk and reminisce, and if your kids are receptive to and interested in learning about family history, this could be a good starting point for them to get to know each other better.  And I'm sure that your father will learn more about your kids and their interests in the process.
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from toytrumpet. Show toytrumpet's posts

    Re: Grandfather involvement

    Your father probably wants to be able to visit with you (his son), and I think the suggestion of misslily is a good one.  Can you all sit in one room, but have the kids bring out a puzzle, or dominoes (you can use them for building or lining up and knocking down by tilting one), coloring books, or drawing pictures with paper and markers - some such activity while he still can talk with you and the other grown ups?  I have grandkids 4 and 8 who want my attention as soon as I get in the door.  Fortunately, they like to color or draw, so sometimes we (the kids and I) make 2-4 page picture books, while sitting there, but it allows me to chat with my son and DIL at the same time.  Just think of some sitting activity your kids like to do, and say how good "grandpa" is at that.

    Hope this helps.
     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from ALF72. Show ALF72's posts

    Re: Grandfather involvement

    My FIL is like this w/ my DH's nieces.  I think it has to do w/ the generation - they never saw their own grandfather interact w/ kids much - or else it has to do w/ gender.  I think my FIL would have no problem relating to 5 yo boys [DH only has brothers] b/c he would take them fishing or do other 'guy' stuff with them.  I think he just has no idea what to do w/ little, pony-tailed, pink-wearing girls.  If you have daughters, this could be the reason for his 'lack' of involvement.  Maybe schedule outings to the zoo, the park or play a game, like someone mentioned.  But bear in mind that an 80 yo only has so much energy [no matter what their health and energy level] and 6 yos are going to wear him out fast.   Good luck! 
     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from Lizzy1. Show Lizzy1's posts

    Re: Grandfather involvement

    I would highly recommend recording the living history, my mother has Alzheimers and my father has passed away so my son does not have that option with his grandparents and although I try to fill in the blanks for him sometimes I just don't know the answer to his questions. 

    My in-laws live overseas and I will definitely make sure that he does that during our next visit.  I hope he can learn much about my husband's family along with the culture of their country.
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from whatawagSBNy. Show whatawagSBNy's posts

    Re: Grandfather involvement

         In nursing and PT I work a lot with elderly people.  Something that was never part of my upbringing, but was very true for many:  When now 80 year olds were say 30, and fathers,  in 1959, many many fathers worked and commuted,  many travelled in jobs without air travel, just on the road,  and factories, mines, and railroads  ran 2 or 3 shifts a day.
         A young lawyer or executive often got home between 7 and 8 after the kids had eaten.  Maybe they joined Mom and Dad for a desert while  they had supper, maybe not.  Kids were not up until all hours.  Parents did not drive kids to school, and buses picked up kids more than 1 1/2 or 2 miles from school.  So to give the kids time to walk or bike either to school or a bus stop,  in the morning, kids would go to bed at 8 until the end of elementary school.   Shift  workers, not retail and service people, were a whole major class that has almost disappeared. At least half were home when the kids were in school, then went to work at 2:30 or 8 or 11pm.
         Many men never played with their kids, except formal sports things.
    Moms did the hands on things.  2/3  of Moms  never worked outside the home or farm.
        As grandparents and great grandparents, I wish I had a quarter for every time one has said to me - I don't know how to sit down and play matchbox and marbles.  I never did it with my kids.  I read them a bedtime story, tucked them in, and 2 weekends a month we took a family trip.  My grandchildren are great, but I honestly do not know what they like at different ages.
         For many, it is a big regret.  Others think that was fine, and are bewildered when "youngsters", their adult children and grandchildren, want more for their kids.

         I do think ideas that set them up with some medium like a story, a game, or ask your grandfather to tell you about _____  make  a bridge from the kind of parenting that these men knew to what we expect now.
     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from TarheelChief. Show TarheelChief's posts

    Re: Grandfather involvement

    I used to sit on my great grandfather's knee and he would describe the various virtues he advocated.Truth,disciplined work habits,being celibate,and avoiding the evils of drink.
    My grandfather and grandmother were visibly upset when he gave these speeches,for they were terrified I would learn the truth about my great grandfather.
    I'm not sure it's good to have grandpa around if he can't stand children's voices. Many times their hearing is so poor they misunderstand what is being said.Other times,modern children remind them of modern music,the sorry excuse for noise.
     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from movingtarget2. Show movingtarget2's posts

    Re: Grandfather involvement

    If he's 80 he probably didn't raise his own kids all that much.  Has it occured to you that he has no means of communication with them because he hasn't any experience to draw upon?
     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from Denoonan. Show Denoonan's posts

    Re: Grandfather involvement

    In Response to Grandfather involvement:
    [QUOTE]My father loves his grandchildren -- but in an abstract sort of way.  He loves to show off their photos, and show them off to acquaintances.  Yet he almost never wants to interact with them.  He'll come over to visit and then sit and talk with us or his ladyfriend instead of with the kids.  Anyone have any ideas on how to involve him with them?  He's 80.  They're 6.
    Posted by teaperson[/QUOTE]

    At 80, he probably finds young children too chaotic to deal with.  As a 67 year old loving Grandpa of 4 active kids (9,7,5 and 3), I admit that I just do not have the tolerence I had when I was younger for noise and interruption.  Often, I prefer to interact with my adult children - who are so busy with work and stuff that we don't get to spend much time with them.  You are lucky that your dad is still alive and mobile.  At his age he just wants good conversation - and a 6 year old is not going to provide that for more than a few minutes.   Give him some slack. 
     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from cosmogirl. Show cosmogirl's posts

    Re: Grandfather involvement

    If you all live close enough, arrange for him to have a one-on-one time with each child.  Much easier to manage.

    I agree he is the age of the dads who didn't do child care, they "baby sat", so they're at a loss as to what to do.   Plan a little activity for each child to do or play with grandfather. 

    They are SO lucky to have him around!
     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from downtoearth. Show downtoearth's posts

    Re: Grandfather involvement

    I love my grandkids.  But I hate CandyLand, Monopoly, ring toss and almost all games.  I'm not a 'ply with' kind of grandma.  He wants to visit with you and see the kids.  I know lots of people who don't like playing child games.  It's not unusual.

    Having everyone to a meal is a great way to interact.  Or have each child make Grandpa a card or picture and show it to him.  You don't have to be a down on the floor type grandparent to care.   
     
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