Reading to your grandparent
By Debra Tidball
I read an article recently about reading to your grandchildren and I thought, why not turn the tables? In my book, When I See Grandma, a young girl visits her grandmother in a nursing home and reads her a story. It's a wonderful way for children to connect across generations, sharing things that they love.
Why read to your grandparent?
Grandparents are just big kids with wrinkles - they love a good story as much as anyone.
Grandparent’s brains are stuffed full of information from all their years of experience and this can make them tired – they’d love you to read to them.
Grandparent’s brains are amazing – they may be stuffed full, but there’s always room for more!
Hearing you read will bring back fun memories stacked away in those brains – it will make them feel young.
Sharing a good book makes everyone feel good.
How to read your grandparent:
Choose a book that you love. One that you want to read over and over and over again.
If you don't get the words right it doesn't matter. You can even use the pictures of the book to make up your own story.
Your grandparent will love the time sharing with you whether you read, remember or make up the words. It will become their special memory.
If your grandparent finds it hard to concentrate or communicate, even if they seem to be asleep, they will love to listen to the tone of your voice and they will understand the joy and love you have in sharing a special story.
Some grandparents are intimately involved in the lives of their grandchildren. Some provide child care while the parent is at work. Some offer a warm lap and cuddle often. Others are shut away from regular contact due to illness or incapacity or distance. But everyone benefits from this simple way to foster inter-generational sharing.
Children will have a sense of pride and achievement in reading to their grandparent. Help them choose books that they are familiar with and love - their grandparent will pick up on the love.
Can you find a book that your parent read to you as a child? Sharing the love you shared with your parent provides a bridge for connection between your child and your parent. The Harry the Dirty Dog series is having a resonance - this was one of my childhood favourites. It's also a great way to introduce the classics - my mum read me the poems of AA Milne and I grew up loving stories from Winnie the Pooh and the 100 Acre Wood. It had a special resonance as she was English.
Why not try a Wombat Book's title?
And for inspiration, read this article here.