How Grandparents Can Provide Early Learning Support
Bonding opportunities between grandparents and their grandchildren are plenty. If grandparents are not the primary caretaker of a child, they can dedicate all of their time together to fun and enjoyment.
While parents are a child’s first and best teacher, grandparents are not far behind. They can play the role of teacher, caregiver or friend to little learners while also being a trusted advisor for their own children and new parents. A grandparent’s love and support for their children and grandchildren can have a big impact on healthy development in young children.
Below are a few important things grandparents can share with the newest generations to support early learning.
Morals, lessons and stories are passed down through generations to establish traditions. When grandparents share their experiences, it gives a glimpse into the past and preserves history – especially that of our own families. One day, our youngest generation will share those experiences with their children and grandchildren.
Experiences help create a profound connection. If a grandparent enjoys spending their free time in a garden, cooking meals or painting, they have an opportunity to include their grandchild in the activity. This will create lasting memories for both and educational opportunities for a developing child. Gardening is science. Cooking is math. Painting is creativity.
Plus, grandparents have already raised their own children. That experience can be invaluable for new parents who are now responsible for raising children of their own.
There is something about children that bring out the youth in all of us. Play is a key component of learning for children sparking curiosity and imagination.
The next time your grandchild wants to go jump in a puddle, go get a little muddy with them. Read your favorite children’s books and tell all of your favorite stories. Make it fun by using funny voices for each character and be animated with your facial expressions and motions.
By enjoying play with a child, you are enhancing their social skills with positive interactions, giving them the freedom to express themselves with their own imagination. Plus, it creates lasting memories.
It is a parent’s job to raise their child. No matter how much love they show, there will be long, stressful days. It takes a village to raise a child, and a grandparent’s role is to love unconditionally. That attention helps a child feel safe and secure while giving them the confidence to take on any task throughout their development.
Make sure your arms are always open and your smiles are always warm.
The more support a child has around them, the stronger their foundation for learning and development will be. Parents, grandparents, family and friends can all play a role in ensuring children are meeting developmental milestones. Everyone can celebrate a developing child’s progress using the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) Milestone Tracker.