Friday, April 30, 2010

Strengthening the bond with grandparents

Recently, a friend of mine passed me this large hard cover book called The Bond. No, it's not a tribute to the popular and very hot all-girl string quartet. It's a workbook published by the Women's Initiative for Ageing Successfully (WINGS) as a fun way to connect grandparents and their grandchildren.

I flipped through the book and was immediately struck by how colourful and vibrant it was. It feels very similar to the commercial baby books that parents use to jot down their thoughts and memories about their precious ones. There are pages to record the family tree and other interesting facts such as the grandparent's childhood and wedding, and family traditions. Even included are three pages of glossy stickers to dress up the pages however you wish.

I asked Lesley-Anne if she would like to do a few pages of the workbook with her paternal grandmother, just for fun. So over the weekend when we went over for a visit, she sat down with her nai nai and worked on the pages that she thought were interesting. This spread is on values. I love the second point she wrote under the Grandparent's principles. I think it gives you a glimpse into my mum-in-law's personality!

Second page of the same spread:

This page, Lesley-Anne requested to do. If you've ever wondered why I only seem to cook Western dishes, it's because my mil is the undisputed Queen of Chinese cooking. My motto is: where there is no way of ruling the territory, keep out of it (and just enjoy the perks!)

Feel free to try the recipe. This is a truly yummilicious dish, I promise you.

I'm not associated with WINGS or working with them, in case you're wondering. I'm writing a post about this workbook because I think it's a great opportunity to get the grandparent and grandchild communicating by working on a specific task. I was quite surprised that just by spending that half hour or so with her grandma, Lesley-Anne said that she felt a sense of being so loved, which I thought was sweet.

I checked out the Bond workbook website and realised that the workbook costs $25. Wow. Ok, so my feeling is that while the workbook looks every bit of $25 (at least), I think the price might be a little off-putting for some. However, there are Bond workshops where the grandparent and grandchild can work on the workbook together in guided sessions and these are free if you buy the workbook. Seen in that light, $25 is a paltry sum to pay for two to attend a workshop and spend some quality time together.

I think this is a worthwhile project although you likely won't end up with every single page filled (it's a whopping 48 pages!) Lesley-Anne wasn't crazy about the family tree bit (as was I) because kids do this a lot in school these days. I felt the ones which required the grandparent and grandchild to do a task together or share secrets were probably the most interesting and meaningful.

So if you're looking for something purposeful for grandparent and grandchild to engage in during the upcoming holidays, this might be just the thing for you.


Anonymous said...

This is a really good way to show love between grandparents and grandchildren as it isn't very easy to express love to each other so writing down might be better, but of course saying it out might be also be okay. (By the way, I visit your blog really often and this is my first comment :D)

- Jeane, 20

monlim said...

Thanks Jeane! Yes, activities such as these help both parties express their love to each other. Of course they know the love is there but seeing it in print somehow makes it more real :)

NYMacMom w 3 said...

Hi Monica,
I'd like to suggest your blog to our parenting ministry Alumni. We serve in teaching parenting courses in Covenant EFC in Woodlands (Senior Ps Edmund Chan) and we have many parents within our care and community who would truly benefit from your foresight with children and education.
May I add your blog in ours plus maybe intro you on my facebook status?
Sarah CHAN

monlim said...

Sarah: Sure! I'd be honoured.

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