Bridging the Generation Gap with Books

by On October 16, 2012 in Childrens Books, Reading

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When I was a kid, I spent a lot of time at my grandparents’ house in the next small town over. ?(Hey Mom, are you reading this?? ?My kids are available!) ?I hate to date myself, but back in those days there weren’t a lot of ready-made activities at hand, not to mention a lack of techie toys — too bad the Atari wasn’t portable!

So when I wasn’t watching the gators sunning by the lake or riding on tractors at the farm — I was in Texas after all — I was combing through the attic looking for treasure. Among the plastic horses and vintage Barbies, I could always find a great book, complete with musty pages and still vivid illustrations. ?Even better was a special trip to town to check out a library book with my grandmother.

Now that I have three kids of my own, I think about how they might share their reading experiences with their own grandparents, especially since some live far away. In an article about the exciting ways that older and younger generations of families bond in the digital age, the WSJ recently pointed out that more and more, technology is bridging this gap. Experts agree sharing books together is a great way for grandparents and grandchildren to connect.

Here are some ideas:

  • Read the same books your grandchildren are reading to learn what they are interested in and spark up a lively conversation
  • Keep a basket of children’s books for visits so you can enjoy some reading — and cuddling! — together
  • Give the gift of books and inscribe them with love so they will think of you every time they open their special new book

P.S. Did you know that National Grandparents’ Day was September 9th? Happy Belated Grandparents Day! What are some creative ideas that your family uses to keep your kids connected to their grandparents?



  1. caroline

    November 14, 2012 at 9:39 am

    I just read a great article about “kin work” from a Bay Area mother and sociologist — in other words, about the ways in which we stay connected to our kin, through photos, calls, cards and most of all the effort behind them to connect with family. So this holiday season, reach out to your family, maybe even through sharing a book!

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