Grandparents and grandkids often spend more time together during the holidays than at any other time during the year. For many, it can be a struggle to communicate with grandkids in a meaningful way. This can be especially true when you have aphasia and communication issues appear to widen the distance between you.
Here are simple things you can do to make it easier to find common interests, improve communication, and build strong relationships with your grandkids.
- If you can’t beat them, join them
Younger family members are often obsessed with their mobile devices. Think of it as an opportunity to engage in fun activities together that you can communicate around. Find fun aphasia-friendly video games to play together, or share streaming music with one another and explain what the songs mean to you.
- Use drawing to communicate
Drawing can be a great way for you to communicate with your grandkids. Younger kids especially tend to love drawing and coloring, and you can easily turn it into a fun game for them. So, make sure to keep plenty of crayons, markers, and paper nearby.
- Find a show to binge and discuss together
There are thousands of shows available on streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Disney+ that the whole family can gather around, watch, and discuss. Check out our list of some of the top shows to watch this holiday season.
- Ask them open ended questions
Take the time to learn about your grandkids passions and hobbies by asking questions that can’t be answered with a “yes” or “no”. That will give them the space to share their thoughts and feelings and shows that you care about what they have to say.
- Don’t get too frustrated
Don’t worry if you can’t find the right words or express exactly what you want to say. If you find yourself getting frustrated, take a deep breath and just move on. Remember that sometimes, a smile and a hug say more than words can ever say.
The idea that a grandparent with aphasia can ask open ended questions of a grandchild is ridiculous!! My husband’s aphasia is so severe he can’t ask any questions and we have to work very hard to ensure that we ask him closed questions!!
I’m sorry to hear about your husband’s aphasia. Every person’s aphasia journey is different. A person with aphasia that is less severe may still be able to ask questions. Someone with severe aphasia may be able to use a speech device or other no-tech AAC tools (like a communication board or whiteboard) to ask those same questions, but will require a little more pre-planning. We would be happy to help if you’d like to schedule a call with one of our clinicians.