Habitot Children's Museum

through September 30!

The museum will be closed for Labor Day, September 3rd.

April 1 - September 30

9:30 - 12:30
9:30 - 12:30
9:30 - 12:30
9:30 - 12:30
9:30 - 4:30
9:30 - 4:30
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Habitot is a nonprofit, 501(c)3 organization that relies on community support

Habitot Children's Museum

Habitot Children's Museum
2065 Kittredge Street
Berkeley, CA 94704
(510) 647-1111

Parenting Q&A

Parenting Question of the Month How can I help grandparents be a part of my child's life?


Parenting Q&A The nation celebrates Grandparent’s Day on September 9, reminding us all of the special roles grandparents have in our children’s lives no matter how near or far away they live.

Some grandparents live nearby and can visit and play with grandchildren frequently. Some grandparents are serving as babysitters and even as live-in care providers. Whether near or far, grandparents can provide a lot of love and continuity in a child's life.

Grandparents are often the family historians, and can add a rich sense of family tradition and can share the family’s stories. Additionally, contact with grandparents can teach children positive attitudes towards aging. Grandparents are often more relaxed about children's behavior. Having raised their own children, they have perspective on what's really important. Without long-term responsibilities and time on their hands, grandparents can relax and really appreciate little children and value playing with them in the early years.

However, distances between family members, busy lives, and even different attitudes about parenting can make involving grandparents challenging at times. But even if you feel your parents could have done a better job of parenting, grandparenting can be an opportunity to "try again" (for both of you!) Family bonds can often be mended when a new baby enters the world, giving families a chance to reconnect and start anew, talking through and working out some of the harder times in the family history. Check out the link below if you have grandparents uninterested in your children or if they create other problems for you as a parent.

Here are some ideas for helping to foster healthy grandparent-child relationships:

  • Create special times for grandparents and children to be alone, assuming their health and fitness permits it, even if you are home or nearby. Special time alone helps grandparents and children build relationships that are all their own, with special stories, routines, and rituals. Additionally, allow grandparents the opportunity to spend time with individual grandchildren. It will give them an opportunity to bond, without competition, with one grandchild at a time.

  • If your parents or in laws live far away, make visits as often as possible and talk about your visits with your child before you go, so that they are excited and eagerly anticipate visits with their grandparents. Help prepare your parents in advance of visits what to expect and what your children are interested in at the moment.

  • Display family photos in the home so that your children recognize their grandparents. Send your children’s photos by mail or email, and keep in touch by phone or Skype.

  • Honor grandparents often. Whether near or far, tell grandparents how wonderful and loved they are, and make sure your child does the same. Involve your child in making small art projects for their fridge or decorating a picture frame with their latest cute photo inside.
Parenting Resources

KidsHealth. The Benefits of Bonding With Grandparents. KidsHealth, 2009. Web Article: http://kidshealth.org/parent/positive/family/grandparents.html

Parenthood. The Grandparent-Grandchild Bond. Parenthood.com, 2009. Web Article: http://www.parenthood.com/article-topics/the_grandparent_grandchild_bond.html

When Grandparents Present a Challenge. Web Article: http://www.drheller.com/grandparents.html

Yem, Susan Solomon. The Child to Grandparent Connection. Babyzone, 2009. Web Article: http://www.babyzone.com/mom_dad/love_friendship/grandparents-and-extended/article/child-grandparent-connection

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