Preparing Your Kids For a Grandchild Visit

“Holding a great-grandchild makes getting old worthwhile.” 

Evalyn Rikkers

grandfather and grandchild on bench

Why Preparing Kids Before Visiting Grandparents is a Good Idea

There’s something touching about the grandparent-grandchild relationship. Just seeing a picture of a little boy on his smiling grandpa’s lap, while pointing somewhere in a book, is enough to soften many hearts. But, unfortunately, not all interactions go that well. That’s why it may be a good idea to prepare your little ones before your next trip to your elders.

What Not to Do

The last thing you want to do is turn a joyous visit to grandma into a burden. Those are not the memories any grandchild would like to have.


  • Don’t rehearse what isn’t necessary – a natural relationship unfolds spontaneously for the most part and this is no different.
  • Don’t use scare tactics – you want to keep the atmosphere positive, remember?


Every situation, person and relationship is unique, so this isn’t a ‘definitive guide’ on ‘what to tell a grandchild.’ The main idea is to use common sense, appropriate to the circumstances. But, sometimes common sense is overlooked, so here are some general guidelines, which you may find helpful. Just make sure to be flexible and wise.

  • Ask them to avoid sensitive topics – if your sister, Bertha, is dealing with a crisis, it will do little good for young Ben to bring it up with your mom. Of course, there’s always the grandchild who will mean well and say, “I can’t talk to you about Bertha, because mommy doesn’t let.” But that’s the way things kids are.
  • Feed them first – a hungry child is like a hungry adult, just less careful about hiding his or her mood.
  • Avoid excessive sweets – grandparents enjoy hearing about the cute funny things their grandchild did, when they were hyper … over the phone, in-person, though, many prefer for them to be well-behaved.
  • Remind them to highlight their achievements – by achievements, I don’t mean scholastic, necessarily; I’m referring to subjective criteria. If they’re genuinely proud of something and your dad can share their enthusiasm, that’s a gold mine for their relationship.

Grandparents adore grandchildren, so have your kids visit as often as you and your parents will tolerate, but see to prepare them first. When a grandchild comes prepared the visit can go smoother and your parents will only have good things to say.

Do you prepare your children before visiting your parents?

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