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5 Things Teens Can Do to Remember Their Grandparents


Teens who have had a grandparent die will need to do things to remember them, as grandparents - and our memories of them - help us build family bonds, a sense of belonging and give us a firm foundation in life. You can help your teen remember by encouraging them to do one or more of the following five things:

Visit their grandparents grave site. Connecting to your love and memories of a grandparent by visiting their graves is a bonding experience where teens who have lost their grandparents can benefit. Do not shy away from your teen having this experience because 'they may get sad'. Your teen is already sad that their loved one is not with them. But expressing their sadness in a healthy way by doing things like visiting the grave site is good for them.

Keep a memento. A memento need not be something expensive, like a piece of jewelry, it can be anything. It works best when it comes with a story of the person. Teens enjoy remembering who their grandparent was as a person, as well as their grandparent. While I was in college, I was given my grandfather’s WW II dog tag. It was worn on his wrist, so over the years the metal bent to the curve of it. It is in my jewelry box so that every time I open my jewelry box I remember not only him, but how brave he was and his service to our country.

Create a scrapbook. It helps to look at the past and jot things you remember down on paper so you can hold on to those memories in later years. Teens tend to have a lot of thoughts about who they are and the people around them. Scrapbooks will help them organize and share their thoughts, which will help strengthen their family ties to those they have lost.

Make a memorial video. If you have some videos of your child with their grandparents, or just their grandparents, your teen can make a memorial video by taking clips from your collection and adding music and journaling. Videos are wonderful tools for keeping memories alive. Placing them on CDs or DVDs means these memories can last forever.

Talking with your teen about their grandparents. When you share family memories with your teen, you are giving them not only information about their family's past history, but also a sense of belonging. This type of remembering grandparents who have past allows you to lay down a firm family foundation for your teen.

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