Grandchildren Connections - Guest Post

 Today, I have the honor of sharing a guest post with the author of I Can't Wait to Love You Forever, Patricia Eckerman Ambas. 

I highly recommend this book both for the content and the illustrations. I wished I had a copy of it way back when I was raising my girls.

Patricia is a talented writer. I hope you enjoy her post.

Grandchildren Connections

Grandparents are powerful forces. The ones who can be the second parents, but more of the love and fun, and less of the discipline. Not even close to being a grandmother yet, I consider myself close to the source of what grandchildren want (as a beloved and loving granddaughter myself) and raising three children who have a close connection with both sets of grandparents. I have two tips to share with you that can begin to cultivate a stronger relationship with your grandchildren. 

One of the reasons I’m sharing on this topic is that I’m finding some of my biggest book fans are grandparents. They love buying my books for their grandchildren as gifts or as opportunities to read together. This inspired me to look at these relationships around me and what I’ve found is love as the foundation, but pride and respect as additional attributes. 

And that’s tip #1: pride. 

Take pride in who your grandchildren are and what they do. You have such a neat role to have the backseat on the trip - you’re not the driver. Not the navigator. But yet you’re on this trip and you get to see these incredible views. You get to cheer on who they are and encourage them in whatever they do as the proud grandparent. If they’re into building, you make Lego sets together. If they love books, take a weekly trip to the library together, or create a book club with your teen grandchild. Grandparents have the opportunity to build up their grandchildren and they need this second set of safe adults. 

Tip #2 is about safety via body autonomy. Perhaps you want to show your love with hugs and kisses and holding hands. But what happens if you reach for your grandchild, and they shy away from your hug? And then, your daughter doesn’t “correct” the child to tell him to hug you, but instead says, “That’s okay. They don’t want to hug right now.” 

In that moment you may feel that your right as a grandparent has been revoked - where are the unlimited hugs and kisses from your sweet grandchildren? But because you love your grandchildren so much, you can see this from a different perspective and know that it is not about you; it is about the safety of the child. 

Body autonomy is thankfully becoming a societal norm. Children should be able to choose if they are comfortable giving hugs to an adult or if it is something they will do when they are ready. Parents are reinforcing this by allowing their children to warm up to social situations and greet children and adults in ways that they feel comfortable - high fives, fist bumps, or just words. This teaches children that their bodies are their own and they do not have to do something with their body that they are uncomfortable with. 

As a teacher, I follow this with my students, and as a parent, I encourage them to make their own choices when greeting others. When they feel loved and safe, hugs and kisses abound. When they are in new settings or with new people, there is more waving or fist bumps. Allow your grandchildren this lesson as well. Showing that you respect their space, and their body is an unspoken act of love. 

They will feel it, and most likely, return this respect with a great big hug, and you will feel so proud of the role you have chosen to strengthen your connection with your grandchildren.

About the Author:

Patricia Eckerman Ambas loves sharing stories - everything is a story waiting to be told! Her interest in languages led her to become a teacher and she has been striving to instill her love for reading with youth for over fifteen years in that role. As a mom of three, bedtime and really, anytime-stories fill her world. She also shares stories with her community in Oshkosh, WI as she showcases the stories of her husband's family heritage while teaching guests at their family restaurant about Filipino food. Displaying beautiful multicultural families in her books' illustrations is at the forefront of her goals as an author in order to allow her own children, and others like them, a mirror of mixed families and a window for other children to see into a different lifestyle from their own. "I Can't Wait to Love You Forever" is her first children's book and she hopes you have as much fun with it as her second child had inventing the actual game played. Look for more heartfelt books coming soon. 

Find her online: 


Did any grandparents - or aunties, uncles, or caregivers - find these tips helpful? I sure hope so! What other tips would you add?

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