8/3/2021 | By Terri L. Jones

After having gone through years of the challenges of parenthood, many seniors are eager for the prospect of having grandchildren: to love, to bond with, and most importantly, to spoil! However, for seniors who never had children of their own – or for seniors whose children choose to remain childless – grandparenthood simply may never happen. But, regardless, there are still ways to fulfill your desire for grandkids!

Last year, my sister had her first grandchild. She developed an immediate and immutable attachment to this child, who, along with his mother, has lived with Patti since his birth. In fact, my sister refers to this little, brown-eyed cherub as “my baby” and spends most of her days off playing with and taking care of him.

I am jealous of her. I’m jealous of all grandparents for that matter. Although I never had a burning desire to have kids, I’ve found myself green with envy as friend after friend turns into a veritable puddle of adoration over their grand-bundles of joy. What I wouldn’t give to have a kid call me Grandma, Granny, or even a silly name like GiGi or Toots (as my sister hopes to be called)!

I don’t think I’m alone in this unexplainable yet undeniable feeling. I’ve heard other childless friends – or even those whose adult kids have delayed or chosen not to bestow them with grandkids – say that they feel the same … envious but also sort of lacking. In fact, in a HuffPost article, the writer expresses this sentiment, “. . . this grandparent business had made us feel as if there was a gaping hole in our lives.”

Since you can’t rent or buy kids to spoil, what’s a non-grandparent to do? Here are a few ideas to help fulfill your desire for grandkids.

Volunteer with Kiddos

Put your extra time to good use by volunteering with young kids. You can even pick an age range which you prefer (personally, I love 4- to 7-year-olds), unlike real grandkids whom you have to love from birth on! It’s a win/win for both you and the kids!

Substitute in for Other Grandparents

You probably have quite a few kids in your neighborhood who don’t see their grandmas and grandpas as often as they’d like. In between these visits, fill in for their real grandparents by asking the kiddoes to help you walk your dog or inviting them over to make cookies or teach them a new card game. But careful what you wish for! Before you know it, the kids will be begging their parents to go to your house!

Related: 10 Ways to Entertain Kids When They Come Over

Borrow: Fulfill Your Desire for Grandkids with Someone Else’s Grandkids!

If you have younger friends with kids, they’ll probably be happy to lend them out to you now and again. You could have a standing date every Saturday afternoon with Amy’s little boy to go to the movies or Bob’s daughter to play miniature golf. They’ll look forward to your time together and you’ll develop a special relationship in the process.

Bottom line, if you love kids and have a good rapport with them, don’t miss out on the opportunity to enrich one another’s lives.

Terri L. Jones

Terri L. Jones has been writing educational and informative topics for the senior industry for over 10 years, and is a frequent and longtime contributor to Seniors Guide.

Terri Jones