We love you, Grandma and Grandpa!
While parents will inevitably play the most important role in a young person’s development, a grandparent is also essential. As another trusted, loving presence in a child’s life, a grandma or grandpa can impart wisdom, share the family history, provide stability and be another positive role model.
Grandmothers and grandfathers are in the enviable position of being able to care for children and smother them with affection (sometimes in the form of homemade cookies and treats), and then hand them back to mom and dad at the end of the day!
Children often develop a close bond with grandparents that’s different than the one they share with their parents, but certainly no less loving or important. Parents spend every day with their little ones, but seeing grandpa or grandma probably doesn’t happen on a daily basis, which makes those visits feel extra special—and not just to the kids! Grandparents look forward to visits too, and often plan to spoil their grandchildren in ways that moms and dads simply can’t. Who hasn’t left grandma and grandpa’s house with a full tummy and maybe a little toy or spending money tucked away in a pocket?
For grandfathers and grandmothers looking for information on their role and the part they are likely to play in their grandchild’s development, there are lots of useful tips and ideas at the Grandparents’ Association website or on Helpguide.org .
Additional information can also be found on the Grandparents Plus site, which is a national charity in the UK that aims to champion the role of grandparents and to highlight the positive impact they have not only on little ones, but also on the wider family. Because being a grandparent is, after all, something that should be treasured. It represents a time when people can look after children without all of the responsibility that being a parent brings. Some even look at grandparenting as kind of “second chance”—an opportunity to do things differently than they did when they were raising their own children.
Despite the close ties often enjoyed between kids and their grandparents, it appears these relationships may be changing somewhat due to modern-day factors.
According to research commissioned by cleaning group Dr Beckmann, which surveyed 1,500 grandparents in the UK, older generations are worried the part they play in young people’s lives may be replaced by new technologies.
It was revealed that youngsters are now looking for advice on the internet through Google, YouTube and Wikipedia when once they would have turned to their grandparents for answers.
The findings showed that fewer than one in four grandparents have been asked for advice regarding domestic chores such as how to sew a button, wash clothes or learn a new cooking recipe.
While this may be true, there is actually an opportunity to use technology to strengthen your relationship with grandchildren, especially older ones who are more tech savvy and used to communicating using computers and other devices. iKeepSafe.org suggests that social media and other online tools may actually be encouraging cross-generational communication and richly rewarding connections in ways never before possible.
So don’t be afraid to email your grandson, text your granddaughter or suggest a weekly Skype session to catch up! Chances are they’ll love it—and love you for it.
What if you’re not particularly tech savvy yourself? Well, odds are your grandchildren are the perfect teachers—which will give you yet another chance to connect.
410671 CAN/US (04/15)