Send a Hug for Grandparents Day!

 

Grandparent’s Day is Sept. 7, 2014

If your kids’ grandparents live out of state, here is an idea for sending them a big hug through the mail! Roll out wrapping paper with the decorative side down on a hard surface. Have your child lay down with outstretched arms. Trace onto wrapping paper an outline of his/her body from the shoulders up. Cut outline out and let your child draw on a face with crayons. Fold up the paper “hug” and mail in a large envelope.

National Grandparents’ Day in the U.S. is the first Sunday after Labor Day, in September. The holiday is expected to grow in significance over the next decade and beyond as the number of grandparents in the United States rises from 65 million in 2011 to 80 million in 2020 as a result of the baby boom. Grandparents in America are also increasingly responsible for child care and support. In 2012, 30% of children under five with working mothers were cared for on a regular basis by a grandparent.  2013 saw increased exposure for the holiday, with the greatest public engagement and press coverage of Grandparents Day in its 35 year history. This effort was led primarily by the advocacy organization Caring Across Generations, which mobilized celebrities and others to celebrate the holiday online as well as in local actions in 13 different cities around the United States.

Grandparents Day is a family day. Schools, churches, and senior organizations honor grandparents with special events. Some families enjoy small, private gatherings. Others celebrate by holding a family reunion. Board games which are easily played by young and old add enjoyment to family gatherings, enhancing “intergenerational interaction”.  For those who entertain large groups, it can be fun to have a story-telling time, allowing grandparents to relate stories of their past, enlightening children about ” the old days.” Also interesting is to take a census, such as oldest and newest grandchild, family with the most grandchildren, and families with five generation present. As Grandparents Day approaches, help Children and/or Grandchildren to identify and date all photos in old family albums. Many happy memories can be derived from this.Everyone is a grandchild and can be involved in the observance of this day – a time to discover one’s roots and leam patience, understanding and appreciation for the elderly.

Grandparents Day is the perfect time to enhance communication between the generations. Special talents, such as cooking, sculpting or quilting can be passed on to those who display an interest. Old family music, songs and dances, along with their meanings and origins, are important in maintaining a strong sense of family background. Together, re-construct a family tree, giving children the opportunity to learn the ancestral line of their family. Strive to preserve particular ethnic or religious beliefs.  Many times, only grandparents have answers to questions about family histories. When this information is passed down to the grandchildren, everyone can be assured of his heritage being preserved.

Most important, Grandparents Day can signify a loving spirit that lives winin us throughout the year–a spirit of love and respect for our elders.  Along with Grandparents Day, we should not forget shut-ins and those in nursing homes who are unable to be with their families or have no families. Every effort must be made to include these people in the mainstream through cards, community projects and visitation at times other than just holidays. There are many, many elderly who arae not fortunate encough to have family nearby. The need is increarsing every day to fill the void of their loneliness. In every neighborhood, there are elderly who would love an opportunity to be a Foster Grandparent. Parents, churches, schools, and senior organizations, help children to adopt a grandparent!

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