Joy unbound: Importance of 'Grand'parents
July 19, 2014


What the Bible says about grandparents: Proverbs 17:6 “Children’s children are a crown to the aged and parents are the pride of their children.”
 
Grandparents have always been important in family life. Becoming a grandparent for the first time is very emotional and also very unique. It can be stressful physically and psychologically but the experience is priceless and so very rewarding. 
 
They have been given the name “grandparents” because, they are really grand. Grand in their cute and majestic appearances, grand in their magnanimous behaviour, grand in their attitudes and very grand in their love and affection. Grandparents is the name given to the parents of one's parents and they are really the ones who pamper the children of the family. This is because after a very long gap of time when their own children were small, they now find in their homes little children to play with. They pamper their grandchildren more than they ever did their own because now is the time they are free from most of their responsibilities. Now they have all the time to pamper, cajole and love the little children. When their own children were small, they had no time to waste on such cajoling. 

Besides, the parents being busy all day have no time from their routines to see to the extra demands of the children and this is where the grandparents enter the scene of the family. Grandparents are such a solace to the children, who are gifted to them as the most loving members in the house.  With grandparents in the family, the children learn a lot more about life than otherwise. Above all advantages, the blessings of grandparents are so very interesting and inspiring, so much so that the children really get a boost to work hard. 

The special kind of love you get from a grandparent is a love you can't get anywhere else. It is an important kind of love – in fact, a very important kind of love. Grandparents can just enjoy children for who they are in the moment. The love of a grandparent is often freer, more unconditional and far less psychologically complex than a parent's love. The love of a parent and the love of a grandparent are different and both are necessary. The grandparent/grandchild relationship is in fact second in emotional importance only to the parent/child relationship. Just ask any child that where he/she wants to spend their family vacations, their first choice would be to go to grandma/grandpa's house, "because it's fun." Relationships between young and old, between grandparents and grandchildren, are important because they make us feel connected. They make us feel connected not only to each other, but to something bigger, to the flow of life, to the past and to the future. This connection leads to tangible benefits for all generations.


Benefits to grandchildren:

The benefits to children of a close connection to their grandparents include: 

Children have a better sense of who they are and where they come from. They have roots, a history, and a sense of continuity and perspective.

Children develop higher self-esteem, better emotional and social skills including an ability to withstand peer pressure and can even have better grades in school. Children need adult influences in their lives, which helps them to mature.

Children feel special. They're "spoiled" a little. Children know that being with their grandparents is special. They don't expect the rest of the world to treat them the way their grandparents do, so it's really not "spoiling." A grandparent's love is the unconditional stuff of fairy tales. 

Children can get undivided time and attention from grandparents that tired, busy parents often can't give them. Children have someone to talk with and confide in. While children may want to be different from their parents, they often don't mind being like their grandparents. This gives grandparents a lot of power and ability to influence a troubled or confused child. Thus grandchildren think that grandparents fill the gap Mommy and Daddy leave out.

Through sharing in a grandparent's interests, skills, and hobbies, children are introduced to new activities and ideas. Grandparents can be very patient, effective teachers. Knowledge, skills, and attitudes children pick up from grandparents tend to stick with them through life more than those picked up from other sources.


Benefits to grandparents:

The benefits to grandparents of a close connection to their grandchildren include: 

Grandparents say they feel a "joyful freedom" in their new role. They don't feel the pressure they felt as a parent. There's a saying that a mother truly becomes a grandmother the day she stops noticing all the terrible things her children do because she's so enchanted with all the wonderful things her grandchildren do. As a grandparent, you get all the benefits and joys of parenthood without many of the drawbacks.

Many people see grandparenthood as a "second chance." Maybe you weren't able to spend as much time with your own children as you would have liked, or made some mistakes you've now learned from. Grandchildren are a fresh start.

Active, involved grandparents consistently report much less depression and higher degrees of life satisfaction. They tend to be happier with their present life and more hopeful for the future. Grandparents and grandchildren fulfill the role of student and teacher for each other, and it's not always the older person who does the teaching. Children like to feel needed, and they can teach their grandparents lots of things – like how to find some pretty cool stuff on the Internet! 

Grandchildren also help you see the world anew again, through a child's eyes. Grandparents have an opportunity to leave a powerful legacy, to make a difference, to send a message into the future through their grandchildren. The relationship can fulfill our need for immortality.


Benefits to Parents:

The benefits to parents when the "grand generation" is a part of their lives and their children's lives are also clear.

Today's parents are often stressed and overwhelmed. A loving, supportive grandparent can give them someone to talk with – someone who's "been there". It's also comforting for parents to know that there are other adults who love their children and are looking out for them. Again, remember that children need anywhere from four to six involved, caring adults in their lives to fully develop emotionally and socially. Grandparents take some of the pressure off parents. 

Finally, there is the tangible support of reasonable physical or financial help when it's needed. Grandparents can be a safety net in today’s modern family. Many people say their relationship with their parents improves when children enter the picture. For example, an overly strict parent suddenly becomes a "softie" as a grandparent. Adult children see their parents in a new light, and this can help heal relationships.

Bottom line: Most parents want grandparents to be involved – not in a judgmental, meddling way, but in a loving, supportive way.