The summer’s almost over, and you know what that means … it’s almost back-to-school time. If you’re a senior adult with grandchildren, this can be an incredibly exciting time, as well as an opportunity to send a little Grandma or Grandpa “good luck” to the kiddos heading out into a brave new grade.
“The beginning of the school year is a big deal for school-aged children, and grandparents may be wondering how they can help make the event even more special,” says Angel Van Horn, Community Relations Specialist at Park Manor, the most trusted retirement community in Nashville, TN. This may seem difficult to do, she says, if grandparents live far away from their grandchildren. However, with a little creativity, there are still many ways you can be involved in this big event, even if you’re across the country.
“The beginning of a new school year holds so much promise and opportunity, and showing your grandchildren that you support them during this important time will mean so much,” she says. “By finding meaningful ways to connect, you can deepen your relationship with them and potentially begin a new tradition that you and they will look forward to for years to come.”
How to Help Grandkids Get Ready for the New School Year
1. Send a care package.
Who doesn’t love getting presents sent in the mail? Grandparents love to send grandchildren a little surprise, and back-to-school is the perfect time to spoil them as well as give them things they need. Ask Mom or Dad for a “wish list” for supplies so you can pick up gifts that will be useful as well as fun. Other fun things to pack into a care package:
- A handwritten letter to your grandkid, plus a self-addressed, stamped envelope (and card) for the child to write back and tell you how the first day went
- Healthy treats they can stash in their backpack for a burst of energy
- Pictures of their parents attending the first day of school
- Their favorite home-baked treat.
2. Plan for future fun events.
Schools these days often have a calendar set up well-in advance. Request a copy of it so you can look at what fun things are going on during the school year – and see which ones you might be able to attend. Is your grandchild a theatre kid? Find out when the fall play will be going on and make plans to cheer on your little thespian. The same goes for sports events, academic contests and such. Another important day is Grandparents Day, which, if you have enough notice, would be incredibly fun to attend.
3. Keep in touch throughout the year.
Yes, back-to-school is a big deal, but don’t forget about the other important days throughout the year (and just how important your love and support will be). Stock up on greeting cards or postcards that you can send your grandchildren on important dates (or just because) to let them know how much you appreciate their academic effort and how proud of them you are. We can often take it for granted that kids know how much we love and appreciate them, so remember that it’s never a bad thing to remind them of that.
4. Do a back-to-school interview.
Before the school year officially starts, schedule a time to sit down with (or Skype, or call) your grandchild. There are plenty of printable forms online for back to school interviews that both of you can participate in. You can interview your grandchild about what they’re looking forward to this year, and they can ask you questions about what it was like for you when you were going into a certain grade. This can quickly become a beloved tradition that you and your grandchildren can participate in every year.
5. Create a “Back-to School-Fairy” pack.
Back-to-school doesn’t have to be just one day. Why not create a whole event where the Back-To-School Fairy visits your grandchildren throughout the first week of school (or the week before, counting down to the big day)? Coordinate with their parents to create a magical event with little gifts, notes and other goodies that can be placed under the grandchildren’s pillows to create excitement around going back to school. This is a great idea whether you live nearby or far away.
“Grandchildren are one of life’s special pleasures, and helping them get ready for big events, like the first day of school, will help create magical memories and nurture your relationship for years to come,” says Angel. “At Park Manor, we understand the importance of family and love to work with our residents to coordinate visits, create opportunities and make moments happen for grandparents, kids and grandchildren alike. After all, your grandkids are only little once – make the most of it while you can!”
If you have more questions about making back-to-school special for your grandchildren, or to learn more about our senior living community, please contact us at 615.997.3030.
Love Where You Live!
Have you ever asked yourself the question, “Do I love where I live?” If you ask that question of the residents of Park Manor, Nashville’s premier retirement community, the answer would be a resounding, “Yes!” For over 50 years, Park Manor has served Nashville’s seniors by providing a community designed to support an active, independent, secure, healthy and worry-free lifestyle. Located on seven spacious acres in the desirable Nashville neighborhood Belle Meade, we’re proud to provide a lifestyle our residents love each and every day.
Park Manor’s approach to senior living is simple: exceed our residents’ expectations. We strive to provide everything you could possibly need and want to live your life the way you choose. At Park Manor, you will enjoy a standard of living reminiscent of a luxury resort – but it’s not a vacation – it’s your lifestyle! This commitment is why we are held in such high regard by our surrounding community and are known as thepremier retirement community offering Independent Living and Assisted Living lifestyles.
For seniors requiring memory care, Park Manor is associated with the prestigious Abe’s Garden® Memory Care Center of Excellence. Abe’s Garden® is committed to transforming the care of those with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia by establishing a national model of residential living and day care programs for those suffering from the disease. Abe’s Garden® provides an unprecedented level of care in addition to a comprehensive array of services and lifestyle options.
At Park Manor, your continued independence is our top priority. Enjoy living life as you choose … in the comfort and privacy of your own apartment, while having the peace of mind of knowing help is available if and when you need it.
For more information, please call 615.997.3030.