Grandparents are a precious resource for grandchildren, they have interesting stories and experiences to tell and lessons to pass on and they are often available to look after them and be their playmates, creating a very strong and beneficial bond for both.
Grandparents and grandchildren are, in their complicity free from parenting schemes, a good part of a winning team. They play with them, help them with their homework and eat when both parents cannot be present.
But this winning team … how and where do you play?
In the affection of the grandparents that makes happy children grow.
Their loving and reassuring presence creates a relationship of complicity even more free and uninhibited, compared to the one with parents. Not having to be subjected to the hectic pace and stress of work, grandparents have time to listen carefully to their grandchildren and this is a precious gift that we parents often cannot give away. The child needs adults who pay full attention to them, encouraging them to develop their personality, making them grow calm and self-confident, thus developing a strong “resilience” in them that is the ability to respond adequately when they find themselves facing adversity.
In the continuous exchange between grandparents and grandchildren.
The grandchildren “oblige” the grandparents to inform themselves and remain rooted in the contemporary world, vice versa the grandparents offer the children the opportunity of a wisdom accumulated throughout their life, the readings of books, the stories and past adventures, the history and the community: every fact is more exciting if the person who told it has also lived it!
Moreover, today, the grandparents are not only custodians of culture and wisdom, which children wish to listen to, they also represent a door with the culturally and naturally different past. In the current multi-media and multi-racial society, for children this is a further opportunity to open their minds, overcoming cultural barriers, learning to understand and accept what is different and what has been to create the basis for growth.
In short, grandparents often play the fundamental role of fostering dialogue between all members of the family: they integrate relations between generations and keep the exchange of solidarity and knowledge active among family members. Even more so in cases where parents of children are separated and affection between grandparents, grandmothers and grandchildren it represents a maintenance of the sense of family bond.
And not only that, looking after children keeps grandparents healthy!
Finally, we parents, let’s face it, we have the double interest that things work well between the generations: the healthy growth of children and the good health of their grandparents, because the grandchildren run a lot and keeping up with them is a real gym for a grandfather! The lively enthusiasm emanating children is good for the training of the mind of the elderly. Today’s elders, who are no longer considered as they used to be, are often active and dynamic people, who understand society and keep up with the times. They are dynamic, they read, they travel, they use the internet. They are willing to engage in the role of grandfather and grandmother: they spend a good part of their free time with their grandchildren and they are willing to change their habits according to the advice of pediatricians and teachers (eat it becomes big!).
But they must also respect their needs and having to face “the passing of time” and any physical difficulties, it can happen that, when they host them at home, grandparents require children a greater level of quiet. The habits of life of the grandparents must not be distorted but one must meet in a wise middle way, thus giving a further teaching to the children who will learn, at certain times, to contain themselves by adapting their behavior.