For Parents & Grandparents

Connecting With Young People

We all know that young people must listen to adults talk all the time and have often learned to tune adults out.

How can grandparents connect in a meaningful way with grandchildren - especially teens - so that young people will be receptive to hearing their stories?

One of the best ways to connect or reconnect is through sharing activities based on mutual interests. Such interests might include, but are in no way limited to:

  • Movies and plays
  • Music (playing or listening to)
  • Ball games
  • Reading books & books on tape
  • Food shopping, cooking & baking (from traditional ethnic or comfort foods to more gourmet efforts)
  • Outdoor activities
  • Card & board games (Canasta, Bridge, Chess, Gin Rummy, Scrabble, Checkers, Monopoly, Backgammon, etc.), possibly as part of a weekly event.

As younger and older people play cards, tell jokes, and do fun things together, it will be natural to remember and share stories from the past. Taking a long drive together is another way to encourage conversation and sharing stories. Parents can play a role by setting up opportunities for grandchildren and grandparents to spend enjoyable time together.


  • Remember to listen to your grandchildren as much or more than you talk to them. Resist the urge to lecture if they tell you about errors they’ve made, and use your own life stories as a way of sharing your values.
  • Be honest with your grandchildren: Share your successes and mistakes, your joys and regrets. By doing so, you will communicate far more valuable life lessons than adults who try to appear perfect.



Creating Your Story


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