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August 27, 2014

Grand Occasions

By Tampa Bay Parenting

Bonding With Grandparents 

Each year, summertime is grandparents’ time! According to a nationwide study by Grandparents.com, 81 percent of grandparents had their grandchildren for part or all of their summer vacation. More than half of them did more than just stay home! Sixty-six percent traveled with their grandkids – from road trips to cruising!

With back-to-school routines overshadowing visits with grandparents, experts say it’s important to keep those summer bonds going and not just for your little ones. Doctors say it can mean the difference between a healthy mindset and the onset of depression when it comes to grandma and grandpa.

The good news is that technology makes it easy to connect. The same survey that found 81 percent of grandparents hosting the kids during summer also found 75% of grandparents are wired! Nana and paw paw are happily surfing the web and more than 50% of them are sharing pictures via email rather than snail mail! Another 45% of grandparents are now using social networks, including Facebook, LinkedIn and Yahoo groups. Instant messaging? Grandparents are doing that, too! Thirty percent and growing!

Like many grandparents, Jane Leep joined the social media world to connect with her grandchildren. “If they don’t text you, you can see what they are doing on Facebook,” Leep said. Dr. Amber Gum of the University of South Florida agrees that social media is a good way to keep your aging parents connected. Dr. Gum pointed out that it is important for older adults to keep active mentally and physically to combat depression.

There are things parents can do to help in this process. Dr. Gum says you can start by asking your parents a few questions, such as “What would you like to do more of that would bring meaning to your life?” and “How can I help you make that happen?” If geography makes it impossible to visit in-person, connecting by phone, email or social media can still deliver a potent dose of “happy”.  Even the small talk about homework and playtime can have a big positive impact on the mind and spirit of aging parents. “It might be prayer,” says Dr. Gum, or “listening to inspirational recordings.” It’s like Care Bear says, “sharing is caring.”

Sunday, Sept. 7 is National Grandparents Day! Three decades ago, President Carter proclaimed the first Sunday after Labor Day as National Grandparents Day. Here are some fast facts on grandparents.

  • 70 million grandparents in the U.S. – 1/3 of the population
  • They spend $52 billion every year on grandchildren alone
  • They spend $32 billion on grandkids’ educational expenses
  • 81% of grandparents in U.S. have their grandchildren for part or all of summer vacation
  • 66% of grandparents have never celebrated Grandparents Day. Let’s change that this year!

Grand Gifts 

Grand parent day gift tampa bay parenting

This is a charming book filled with fairy tales, poetry, nursery rhymes, song, stories, and words of wisdom, activities, and recipes that are sure to enchant and delight. The Little Big Book for Grandmothers is brimming with many of the classic and favorite things grandmothers grew up with, and illustrated with charming vintage art.  www.Barnesandnoble.com

Tampa Bay Parenting 2015 Photo Book

Devote some time to arranging a photographer to capture the grandparents and the grandkids and then compile it into a unique book of memories.  www.photosoncloud9.com

Tampa Bay Parenting 2014 Hand Painted Mug

Take a trek to Hyde Park Village to make one-of-a-kind ceramic gifts for the grandparents like this handprint mug.  www.colormemine.com

croquet set for Granparents day gift tampa bay parenting

Uber Games offers a choice of Croquet Sets to suit all budgets and requirements. We supply Croquet Sets that are of the highest quality and represent excellent value for money. Our croquet sets are made from sustainable resources.  www.ubergames.co.uk

Grandpa shirt Tamp Bay Parenting

Give this gift for the awesome man in your life, he has done a lot! Grandpa Since…(any year you like) www.theshirtdudes.com

 

A 12-time Emmy Award-winning reporter, Linda Hurtado is the 5pm anchor and medical reporter for ABC Action News. Kristin Moore is special projects producer for ABC Action News.

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