Looking Back on the Wonders of Grandparenting in Graham County
When school wraps up in the spring, many grandparents are given the opportunity to receive a visit from their grandchildren. Sometimes the opportunity is accompanied by pleas from their children. These days it is very common for both parents to work. Single parenting is also very common and the summer poses a huge dilemma for parents. What do they do with the kids? Summer camps have always been available, but they cost money and sometimes they aren’t what they are cracked up to be. That is where grandparents often come into the picture.
During the summer television and cell phones often replace the social interactions that children find in school. If a child is one of several, oftentimes one child finds himself or herself with less attention for the few hours a parent has to interact with the children than a sibling. So the idea of a Grandparent’s Summer Camp, even if it is just for a week, becomes such an opportunity. If it is possible, arrange a visit from one child at a time. First, you are able to focus complete attention on the child. Usually this does not happen often or at all in normal family dynamics. That focused attention can be used to encourage individual talents and interests. Secondly, one child does not take the energy that having more than one child at a time does. Children compete for attention as we all know. If you are used to an independent, childless lifestyle, a week with a grandchild can be exhausting. Are you used to an afternoon nap? That isn’t going to happen. How about skipping a meal or sleeping in late? Nope, that isn’t going to happen either. What is going to happen is that you will get to know your grandchild as a person. You will have the opportunity to forge a bond that will never be forgotten. With some planning, you can provide your grandchild with the experiences he will remember for a lifetime. You can create a week specifically tailored to your grandchild’s interest. You can expose them to new things. Allow them the chance to unplug from their normal entertainment and discover the world around them. The older they are the more difficult changes to their routine become.
People joke about being a grandparent and spoiling your grandchild when they visit. There is some truth to that. You can share your interests and joys with your grandchild and allow them to share their thoughts and dreams with you. You can cook their favorite treats, let them do things that they normally can’t do and then send them back to their parents a week later full of stories and new ideas. In the next few months I’ll share some fun ideas for Grandparent’s Summer Camp that can be accomplished in the mountains and streams of Western North Carolina. Consider bringing your grandchild to the Tapoco Lodge and staying at one of the cabins for a week. What an adventure!