‘Grandparents sort of sprinkle stardust on the lives of children’ – Alex Haley.
Grandparents are special, aren’t they? Be it the stories they tell or the special gifts they give from time to time — the bond that they share with their grandchildren is unique. They have a lasting impact on the lives, convictions and principles of their grandchildren. More often than not, you may find people throwing in lines like — ‘My grandmother taught me to be brave’ or ‘My grandfather taught me the basics of geometry’.
For some children, their grandparents double up as role models and playmates as well, making their childhood much more memorable. In fact, famous personalities like Barack Obama and Indra Nooyi have really praised their grandparents while talking about their childhood.
In countries like India, grandparents have a more integral role to play in the child’s progress and overall growth. Studies show that 67% of the surveyed Indian grandparents are actively involved in spending time in raising their grandchildren. Considering how grandparents can make childhood more beautiful, as a parent, you need to understand the aspects in which they can really make a difference. This can also make your parenting journey a lot smoother and enriching!
Grandparents come with a ton of experience. Having lived for over five decades and among people from three generations, they have been there and done that, indeed! Through their experiences, they can enrich children with a wealth of knowledge and values that they have inculcated in life. Although children benefit from the wisdom that their grandparents pass on, parents have an advantage too. If you come across any bumps in the road or slight hiccups while raising your children, grandparents might come up with some advice or tips and tricks to make it easier. They are really resourceful when it comes to that!
You may have heard some fellow parents say, “Her grandpa is so good with making her study and do her chores. She shows very little resistance’. Children may get along easily with grandparents, because they have the knack of getting things done. That’s because as parents, you would have multiple things to juggle – jobs, children’s education, their wellbeing, and the list goes on. This might make you more stressed and increase the chance of losing your temper with your children, if they are sometimes difficult to handle.
On the other hand, grandparents are relatively more relaxed since they are either retired or in the fag end of their careers, but they have handled responsibility in the past. They can unleash their fun side and also motivate the kids to be responsible!
There are a few things that children enjoy as much as listening to stories! When these stories are about ancient lore, they can make them aware of their own culture and roots, opening them up to otherwise unknown traditions. And grandparents have so many of them up their sleeves! In fact, these tales are world famous and each grandparent has their own unique way of storytelling, each with their own dash of culture, moral values, ancient wisdom and some family-specific humour too.
Having a storyteller in the family makes the family bond stronger in a really simple way and is an easy way to inculcate these values in children.
It’s the grandparents’ rite of passage when they pamper their grandchildren! Well, they had their fair share of being strict with their children and they might want to loosen up a bit with the next generation! Admittedly, it is a form of love and might have a positive effect when it is under control. A treat here and a gift there wouldn’t be too out of place, would it? However, you need to understand that as parents, you must collaborate and ensure that, while no love is lost between your children and their grandparents, the children must not become entitled in the process.
It is no secret that grandparents are a boon when it comes to helping parents! However, studies have shown that when they are in regular contact with their grandchildren, they are more active, more energetic, and, in some cases, it also leads to an increased life expectancy, by five years at least! Children are indeed a breath of fresh air and they give their grandparents the much-needed energy to live with increased zest for life and independence.
We are sure you would have more pointers to share about how grandparents impact the lives of children. Share them with us in the comments.
Aparna is a mom, singer and dreamer. At BYJU'S, she writes stories about learning for children. She believes in the power of music, especially ghazal, the magic of the universe and happy learners. When not writing or singing, you will find her intensely engaged in conversations about life and the power of words.
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