Helping your grandchild communicate

Open communication between you and your grandchild is essential. If possible, talk honestly and openly with your grandchildren in a way that they will understand. Having someone they trust to talk with—and get answers from—helps children feel safe and understood. Open communication is important for a positive relationship.

Although it may be out of your control, having your grandchild stay in touch with his or her parent can be helpful. Staying in touch on a regular basis with their parents can be reassuring and comforting to your grandchildren. Not knowing when or if they will hear from their parents is very hard for children.

After talking with a parent, either in person or on the phone, children may seem upset.They may feel confused. In most cases, being upset doesn't mean children shouldn't talk to their parents. Instead, make sure you take time to help them "debrief" and to express their feelings. (For more on this topic, please see fact sheet #7: Children's Contact with Their Parents.)

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