Why Grandparents are so Important for Grandkids
We can all remember the time spent with our favourite grandparents, the way they used to spoil us when mum and dad weren’t looking or how they would tell us stories that would capture the imagination. Without doubt, there is something different and extremely special about the relationship between grandparents and their grandkids.
While values and norms are primarily transmitted from our parents, grandparents still play a special role in the teaching of family history and the instilling of longstanding traditional values. They provide that vital link to the past and are honest brokers in difficult times – role models, nurturers and a genuine support network (not just babysitters when your favourite band is in town.)
Children learn through close intergenerational ties that they belong to something larger than themselves, the bigger the family the better in most cases, a genuine blessing in the age of “me, myself and I”. The tales of years gone-by, the similarities of growing up in a different age, the photo albums of your parents and relatives, all these things give children a foundation to know where they have come from and from there they can confidently choose their own futures.
With demands on both parents to work and follow a career at the same time as raising a family, grandparent’s roles have become even more important. Studies have shown that children need anywhere between 4 and 6 caring adults in their lives to become emotionally and socially stable and to nurture self-esteem. Grandparents can be very patient and effective teachers and role models for our kids. More than just golf and bingo, sharing in a grandparent’s interests, skills and hobbies gives kids an introduction to new passions and discoveries in life.
As we grow older our relationship with our grandparents becomes even more treasured, life lessons and advice into our teenage years, support when we are expecting our own small families, celebrating special days and looking back on what has been an amazing life spent together.