Seeing your grandson or granddaughter graduating with their qualifications is sure to be a proud moment. Now they’re an adult, seemingly independent, learning to navigate the world of work, bills and time balance all on their own. Or, at least, with a little background support from parents and grandparents.
No doubt you want to do as much as you can to help your grandchild through this next stage of their life. Here are just a few of the ways that you can help:
Save some money
The final years of education, and the decade that follows graduation, can be some of the most financially worrying years. Young adults don’t yet have the experience of budgeting and money management, but do have new bills and expenses to deal with. They also now have access to tempting sources of credit, which can be all too easy to get hold of.
Financial support will always be appreciated by your grandson or granddaughter, but what’s important is not to just give them the money. If they’re really struggling then you might want to cover their bills or order groceries on their behalf, but a better long-term solution is to save the money up in case of an emergency. Let them learn from their own mistakes as they try to keep control of their budget, but have a helpful financial gift to offer if it’s ever really needed. That same fund, if not used in an emergency, could be given to help with the purchase of a house when the time is right.
Hand over your life lessons
You’ll hear constantly that today’s young people are detached from those around them. In fact, many are more aware than ever of the connections between people and the experiences that different people have. Grandparents, increasingly, are seen as a source of information and wisdom. This isn’t in an “I wish I’d asked them more when I had the chance” way; it’s in a “How can I get this information from them?” way. It’s forward thinking – these young adults care about what the older generations have to say, but might not feel comfortable sitting down and asking you to impart your worldly wisdom.
You can give your grandson or granddaughter, as a recent college graduate, a gift that they’ll treasure forever. Take time to record or write down some of your memories and life experiences, some tips and advice, messages and ‘treats’ (such as a recording of you playing a musical instrument, or a reading of a poem that says something that you think is important). Share ideas about some of the best books to read, include a few recipes and add some photographs. A record of some of the things that you want to share about your life will be a much appreciated gift, as well as one that will be useful in your grandchild’s future.
Be someone to talk to
The most important thing that you can do is to offer your ear to your grandchild, letting them know that they can always turn to you for help, advice and support. As well as being financially turbulent, these years can come with a whole host of other challenges including navigating relationships, perhaps entering the world of parenthood and potentially dealing with workplace troubles.
Your grandchild will value a non-judgmental person to turn to, and with modern technologies such as Skype and social networking, it can be easier than ever for you to stay in touch and be available every day.