As your grandchildren begin to grow into teens you may think they are not interested in talking to anyone about their problems.
While their friends are usually the first people they talk, to research indicates that all children want to be able to talk to their parents, and other reliable adults. As a grandparent, it is important that you ensure you are there to help out during tough times.
If your grandchild is being bullied or has been hurt in some way, it is imperative that they have someone they can turn to who will listen. Bullying: Make yourself available to listen to your grandchild
A child only needs to spend 15 minutes a day talking to an adult to feel reassured that they are being listened to.
Here are some great conversation starters which will help you brooch this difficult subject
What was three good thing that happened today?
Did anything bad happen?
Do you enjoy lunchtime at your school? Who do you have lunch with? What do you do at lunchtime?
What is it like to ride the school bus?
What do you like to do when you first get to school?
What are you good at?
What would do you like best about yourself?
While there are no right or wrong answers to these questions, you’ll know in yourself if your grandchild is happy and relaxed about the situation they are talking about or not.
If they are, that’s great – move on to reading books and eating ice-cream.
If your grandchild avoids eye contact, changes the subject or seems restless and agitated, stay calm and seek further advice.
If you do find some of the answers disturbing the important thing to focus on is how they are affecting the child.
Ask your grandchild’s parents if they are aware if anything is wrong, and if so what is being done about it.
If you’re not sure see our guide – What does bullying look like?
Talking directly about bullying is taking the first step towards stopping it. There are many great programs online where you can get advice on what and not what to do.
For more great tips visit Stop Bullying and talk to your grandchild’s teacher for more information about what their school is doing to combat bullying.
Astro’s Down in the Dumps
Astro’s Down in the Dumps is a great children’s book created to help build resilience in children. Its full color illustrations and story completely written in rhyme gives children six skills they can use to help lift their mood, and cheer themselves up. This book is aimed at children aged 8 years and up, but can also be read to younger children. It’s the sort of book which children will go back to over and over again.