A couple weeks ago, I was on the phone with my grandmother, who is 82 years old, asking her about some of the history of our family. I told her that I am working on the genealogy of our family and wanted as much information as she could remember. Forty-five minutes later, she gave me more than I would have imagined… you’d think the work was done for me!
She is the last of my four grandparents that is alive, although, the first that passed away was only about ten years ago, which was well into my twenties. I am blessed to have known them and having learned from them. It makes me smile as I watch my parents with their grandchildren.
Importance of Grandparents
There are many advantages to the family as a whole, to the grandparents and to the grandchildren in the grandparent- grandchild relationship. Grandparents can offer the parents a set of helping hands in times of need, they can offer parenting advice and they can even offer stability to the mother and child during times of depression. But, for the child, specifically, if the grandchild feels a sense of emotional closeness, has regular contact with the grandparent, and views the grandparent as a source of social support, a strong emotional bond is created that the child can draw upon during times of stress, trouble and even during joyful, celebratory times.
There are many things grandparents can teach grandchildren. Just like my grandmother was teaching me about our family heritage, grandparents can teach grandchildren about the past and how they grew up. (Oh the stories I’ve heard!) They can also teach them ways to “get along with their parents better” because who has known them longer than they have. (My grandma still tells me that I get along great with my dad.) Mostly, they love to just play with their grandchildren and not have to be the disciplinarian. They like to be able to be the adult in the child’s life who can have fun, while still teaching them life’s lessons along the way.