Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Value of Grandparents

I’ve heard the standard cute sayings about grandparents and have had friends tell me how wonderful it is to become a grandparent but never did I fully understand the joy and wonder that comes with this role until experiencing it myself. As a young mother I think I was so busy handling the routines of life, feeling exhausted and yet wanting it all to be so perfect that I missed a lot of those special moments that I am capturing right now as a grandma. To hold that new life and marvel that only yesterday that baby’s parent was your baby is almost beyond comprehension. People ask what name my granddaughter will call me. I have given it some thought but when it comes right down to it, she may call me whatever she chooses. I just want her to call me. I want to be a grandma who will be there ready to listen and ready to share in the fun. Children learn so much from the connections they make with adults from various generations. The world we grew up in is so very different from the one our grandchildren will inherit yet the need for human companionship and relationships will always remain. So how can we foster those relationships with our grandchildren, nieces, nephews, any young child in our lives? Buying fancy gifts and spending lots of money are not necessary to develop relationships. Relationships begin by just being there and getting to know those things that interest each child. It also means sharing those things that we have a passion for with the children in our lives. Invite children to help you bake, garden, walk with you, engage in a sport or hobby, whatever it is you enjoy doing. Children will learn more from you than the activity you are engaged in. Children need role models who can show them how to handle the challenges and disappointments in life as well as life’s joys. A person who will listen without judging, offer wisdom and advice without preaching, who is willing to share their own mistakes and who is there to acknowledge a child will help to develop character and self esteem along with some pretty terrific memories. Parents need the support of their elders too. Parenting is a difficult job. Parents today are often juggling jobs, children and family. These can be daunting and exhausting tasks for anyone. An unfortunate consequence of our mobile society is the distance that often separates extended families. There are many ways we can maintain communication in this technological world yet nothing is more valuable than human contact. If your own grandchildren are far away, try and find a young family who is missing their grandparents. Offer to spend time with their children while providing that missing support for both of you.

1 comment:

Fran Alloway said...

Great article! You are a great writer. Loved your information.