Having a fun time with grandchildren ages 15 and up

Entertainment for grandparents and grandchildren in their late teens starts with your unconditional love.

Having a fun time with grandchildren ages 15 and up. Things to do for grandkids whether they are in town or out-of-town. Visits offer lifetime bonding opportunities. Teen-age years offer continuing opportunities as well as some probable disappointments.

Much of what happens with this age began when your grandchild was an early teen. If you showed tolerance for his/her lifestyle, interests, and viewpoints at that age and maintained a trusting relationship with your grandchild, you will head into late teens and beyond with a solid relationship.

If you did not, you might have some fences to mend. Although you would love for your grandchild to follow your values, peer groups have much more influence on a teen-ager than family. Your disapproval during the teen years will probably not influence your grandchild greatly. In fact, disapproval is much more likely to broaden the generation gap.

So open your mind to a new generation, a new regime, and new beliefs and lifestyles. With a little tolerance on your part, your relationship can be rewarding to you both.

The late teen-age years bring many changes. They finish high school, start college/find work or both and get involved in serious relationships. Some even marry and/or have children of their own before they are, in your opinion, “quite grown.”

They are child one day, adult the next, and total stranger the third. One day they are on top of the world with exciting prospects. The next day they are totally discouraged by life’s changes and choices.

The best thing you can do at this age is lend your support, fully and with a smile, without lectures or even “sniffing” or frowning to show your disapproval.

You can be there for him if he breaks up with his girlfriend (you know, the one with the tattoo and the pierced nose) or wrecks the family car.

You can be there for her when she is not admitted to the college of her choice or chooses to love a person the rest of the family finds unsuitable.

You can help your grandchild through the teen years and into young adulthood if you choose to do so.

If you choose to let the differences in ages and lifestyles create a break in trust and approval, you will probably be the loser here.

When your grandchild comes to visit, be prepared to let him/her take the lead in entertainment and activities.

As with the early teen child, be armed with suggestions of places to go and things to do, then be ready to leave the decisions to your grandchild, even if that decision conflicts with your preferences.

You can still try a compromise; you do something he wants to do if he will do something you want to do.

Or more likely, you do three things she wants to do if she will do one thing you want to do.

In fact, if you could pick one point to make, one project to share, one activity to do together for the visit, and accomplish any of the three, you should consider the visit successful from your viewpoint.

If you have offered support for your grandchild’s present life, and let him/her have choices in what is done, when and with whom, the visit will probably be successful from his/her viewpoint, too.

So, before the visit, read ages 12-15 again, get your mindframe and attitude in the right gear, and be prepared for some pleasant, and possibly unpleasant, surprises.

Just show unconditional love. Isn’t that what we all want?