The Importance of Grandparents
Some of us were lucky enough at some time in our lives to have a relationship with our grandparents.
Kids today are much more likely to have two or more living grandparents with whom they have frequent contact. Whether your kids have a Bumpa or a Pops, a Gran or a Grammy, they will reap many benefits from a relationship with grandparents.
Many grandparents today have two things previous generations did not have: money and time. Grandparents may be able to contribute toward everyday needs like clothing, special things like tickets or lessons, and long-term goals like education. They may have the time to provide child care, take kids on outings, and give parents a break. Grandparents are in the enviable position of being able to give kids more time and attention.
What is the role of a grandparent?
Grandparents can Teach
With extra time, grandparents can pass on a skill or hobby to a grandchild. This could be anything from sewing skills or baking to hunting or carpentry.
Grandparents can transmit culture, family history and heritage. Kids like to hear stories of the “olden days.” Grandparents can also share information about where the family came from and its unique language, traditions, and values.
Grandparents Offer Unique Acceptance
By being another person in a child’s life who cares deeply for the child, grandparents can offer support and be a stress buffer for grandchildren.
Tips for grandparents:
- Be positive with children; avoid being a critic
- Follow parents’ rules for your grandchildren
- Let your grandchildren hear you compliment their parents
- Make your time together special; take time to plan special activities and outings
What if grandchildren are far away? Luckily, with today’s technology, grandparents can still see and visit with grandchildren who are not close by. You can also foster a good relationship by emailing frequently and sharing jokes, family stories and pictures. Kids love getting things in the mail. Send simple items like a small gift card, stickers or a book.
Someone once said, “A grandparent’s job is to sprinkle a little magic in the lives of children.” Having a loving and special relationship with a grandchild will do just that.