Whether they are near to you or far away, a wonderful way to make your parents or in-laws feel like an integral part of your children's lives is to acknowledge Grandparents Day every year. Wait, what? Do people do that? Yes, they do, particularly in cultures like India where young students celebrate their elders' contributions to their lives with school programs and performances to express their appreciation. Sweet, right? So when is Grandparents Day 2018?
Your parents' day of honor comes this Sunday, Sept. 9. Established by the United States Congress in 1978, National Grandparents Day comes the Sunday following Labor Day each year. The legislation was the culmination of a campaign that lasted two decades, starting with the establishment of an official holiday in the Bronx in 1963 and in West Virginia in 1973 by Governor Arch Moore, according to the holiday's official website. For several years, President Barack Obama issued presidential proclamations urging Americans to "honor the anchors of our families and recognize the immeasurable ways they enrich our lives."
However, it was West Virginian Marian Lucille Herndon McQuade — who had 43 grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren and one great-great grandchild at the time of her death in 2001 — who championed the initiative to honor grandparents, create an opportunity for them to show love to their grandchildren, and help little ones become aware of the strength, information, and guidance older people can offer, according to The Legacy Project. McQuade envisioned a simple day for families to gather for a meal, reunion, or community events to strengthen ties between generations, and organizations like Generations United promote the holiday to publicly affirm the importance and identity of grandparents.
So now that we know the holiday is this weekend, what are some simple ways we can help our kiddos honor their grandparents? A cake? A card? Sure, or you can partake in one of these easy activities. Here are a few simple ideas that will make Pop-Pop and Nonnie feel special this Sunday.
Let The Kids Create A Little Program
Is there anything sweeter than these little guys serenading their grandparents? There is absolutely nothing my kids love more than choreographing a song-and-dance routine so they can be applauded by adults, and I'm guessing many other children are the same. Bonus points for original compositions.
Change Your Profile Pic To Include Grandma & Grandpa
You know they're on Facebook (How could you forget?) so make them feel special in front of their friends by talking them up and putting a spotlight on the family features they passed down to you and your little sprogs.
Perform A Grandparent Interview
I'm pretty sure that my kids know next to nothing about my parent's personal lives or history. They're just people the kids adore because they spoil them and say nice things while they aid and abet any petty crimes my husband and I have outlawed. In other words, they love each other to pieces, but it's a pretty one-sided relationship. This Sunday might be a great opportunity to teach our elementary-age kids about reciprocity by arming them with some personal questions to ask Grandma and Pop-Pop. Here are some questions to get them started.
Have The Kids Quiz Their Grandparents To Fill Out A Family Tree
Get both sides involved so your little guys can find out exactly who they belong to and where they all came from. They may not be terribly interested in Great Uncle Shep who owned a cattle ranch in North Dakota, but their grandparents will love using these templates to tell them about family members who are gone but not forgotten.