Grandparents are fun and great to be around. Sometimes, due to the generation gap, it can be frustrating to connect with your grandparents. If you have a reputation as a rebellious teen or a highly independent young adult, it may be harder to connect with them because they feel that you would simply not be interested.
Recognize your differences. Do not enter their world without recognizing that you do not come from the same code of ethics, behavior or anything else. Understand that they may not see hardships, playtime or spending quality family time together the same way that you do. This is necessary in order to have some perspective when trying to connect with them. Do realize, however, that they often delight in the nuances and new developments of today’s youth, so do not squash your personality or general habits.
Enter their world. See them from an equal position by getting deeply involved with their daily activities and habits. Ask them about their hobbies and make sure, even if you are not interested, that you have a solid foundation of knowledge about those hobbies and experiences. These stories or lessons will most definitely come in handy later on in life when you need to fill in gaps of knowledge with something substantial, or if you would like to take up a similar hobby in your thirties.
Respect their traditions and values. Do not try to make them see how shacking up with your girlfriend is the best way to build a relationship. They may not agree, and let’s face it, they have more life experience than you do. Their experience trumps your wisdom. So leave that out of your conversations, and focus on values and traditions which you do have in common. If you love their annual Thanksgiving dinner, ask them to teach you how to prepare those meals so that you have the knowledge after they are gone. If you agree that boys-running-wild is the natural state of masculine behavior, then chuckle over it together, on the front porch, with a glass of iced tea.
Enjoy their characteristics. Grandparents have some pretty interesting personality traits, traits which you are most likely to display at various times throughout your life. These are people who you respect and would like to mimic. Spending time with them increases the likelihood that you will pick out particularly pleasing characteristics and begin using them yourself. If you have absolutely nothing in common, put on some casual work clothes and offer to help them around the house or yard. This will, at the very least, begin to build a relationship with them which will eventually reveal some things you have in common.
Do not show up to spend time with your grandparents when they are old and ready to die. Not only does this look suspiciously like you are trying to secure your inheritance, but it puts a value on your relationship which should be invaluable. Treat them with respect and the rewards, no matter in which form they come, will be great.