What you can teach your grandkids: Life and love in lockdown

Some of us are lucky enough to be seeing our grandkids now, while others are still finding ways to connect online as we wait for level one.

Living in lockdown has made people more aware of what’s important – and brought out some real suffering. Your life experiences and hard-won wisdom could help your grandkids cope better and even thrive in the face of today’s exceptional challenges.

We’re not talking about a lecture, it’s more about setting an example with the things you do to keep yourself happy and healthy.

Why you’re healthy right now

Taking care of yourself is good for you, and sets a standard for your grandkids. Let them know what you do to stay well, including brushing your teeth, eating whole foods and getting regular exercise. For younger kids, you could say, “I brushed my teeth this morning. I used dental floss too. Dental floss is tricky, isn’t it?”

An older child might get the connection between good habits now making a difference later. If you didn’t look after your teeth, that’s a lesson in itself.

What you love doing

Doing what makes you happy and following your passions could be something to teach grandchildren, especially if they’re thinking about what comes after high school. If you feel you were successful, be sure to mention the passions that drove you, not just the money.

Alternatively, you may wish you could have lived your life differently. That could be a more teachable moment to a grandchild than any successes you’ve had.

The loves in your life

The best way to teach grandchildren about love is to love them – and say so. Regularly tell your family, and especially your grandkids, that you love and miss them. Don’t be shy – hardly anyone gets tired of being loved.

Learning something new

Online school aside, so much about the pandemic has been educational for all of us. If you’re learning a new skill, share the news with your grandkids. Ask what they’re learning, and take the conversation beyond their schoolwork. Help them to a wider awareness of the ways they’re developing new skills and gaining knowledge.

Treasure every day

This is something that older people do better than anyone. Children haven’t been through the successes and setbacks that are part of a long life, so they are less likely to be grateful for each day.

Mention that you laugh at yourself in the mirror every morning (try it – you might be amazed), or that you love singing, dancing, walking – or, anything really! Tell your grandkids all the little things you’re grateful for – and ask them to do the same. Let them know you’re glad to alive and kicking.

Share yourself

Even from lockdown, you’re important to your grandchildren’s lives. Offer your experience and knowledge, and especially your love. Teach by example the ways to be happy and healthy, and the importance of valuing every day.