7 Tips for Building Lasting Friendships Between Your Grandchildren

We all want our grandchildren to have lasting friendships with each other, and we can help to make it happen! Follow these seven tips.

1. Remind your grandchildren they are each other’s forever friends.

When children see each other as friends, not just siblings/cousins, they act the part. Not too many friendships span a lifetime, but family is family forever.

2. Compliment in private.

This cuts down on comparison, competition, and rivalry between grandchildren. Unfortunately, it’s human nature to hear a compliment to another and take it as a personal affront. Kids won’t compete for compliments if the statements aren’t made publicly. Another benefit of private conversations is a special one-on-one time to make the individual grandchild feel special.

3. Encourage collaboration.

Assign chores and projects to a pair or team of grandkids. Getting children to work together promotes teamwork, cooperation, and a sense of accomplishment when the job is done.

4. Build family traditions.

Inspire traditions that are unique to your family. The shared memories will be treasured.

5. Instruct and model how to solve problems.

When a conflict arises, use calm conflict resolution techniques to help your grandchildren resolve the issue. Build empathy into the equation. Allow the grandchildren to take ownership of solving disputes rather than adults always acting as referees.

6. Build trust.

When children see their grandparents serving and protecting the whole family, they learn to do the same. Be trustworthy and expect trustworthiness from your grandchildren.

7. Love unconditionally.

Forgive and be forgiven. Don’t play favorites. Choose to love no matter what is said or done. In the moment, you don’t have to like the behavior or words spoken, to still show love to the grandchild. Great love comes through patiently training a child to act appropriately and respectfully.

May your grandchildren become the best of friends!

Knowing each is deeply loved, respected, and part of a family who cares for each other will create relationships based on kindness and congeniality. The legacy of love will benefit the whole family for years to come.

Becky Danielson, M.Ed., is a Christian, wife, mother, and licensed parent & family educator. She had the gift of a grandmother who influenced her life tremendously.

Becky is the co-author of Faithful Grandparenting: Practical Ideas for Connecting the Generations. She blogs for parents and grandparents at FaithFirstParent.com.

Editor’s Note: Think ahead to this summer– what are some things you can do to intentionally build these relationships? Start pondering, praying, and planning today.

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