The importance of grandparents in a child’s life cannot be overstated. They provide a connection to history, teach vital life skills, and can be a great role model for a child.
One of the most important parts of the job of being a parent is setting a good example. But it’s not just the parents that are responsible for the kids. Many children also have meaningful relationships with their grandparents. In some cases, grandchildren might even live with their grandparents so three generations of a family are constantly together. However, there are many benefits unique to this relationship that are essential for a child:
Given the pace of life today, it can be more difficult to connect with those of other ages. So a meaningful relationship with a grandparent can give children a unique understanding of the world! Since they will have lived in a different time, they provide their offspring with a unique window into the past. This perspective can also give a child a sense of their place, and provide them with a connection to history. While it can sometimes be hard to open up the discussion, sharing stories is important. By revealing their lives, grandparents can make the challenges of life for a child a little easier to overcome.
We often learn the basics of tying our shoes and riding a bike from our parents. But children can learn so many other things from their grandparents! A grandmother may have special recipes to share, whether chocolate chip cookies or a family favorite stew. Grandpa may have a distinct skill that he wants to pass along, whether it’s a love of nature or history. Whether they teach you to sew or cook, learning from a grandparent can be easier than from a parent. While some kids don’t want to listen to their parents, they can be more receptive to advice from their grandparents.
Many children spend special holidays and visits with their grandparents, whether the family drives or flies there. However, when families live close to them, they can take care of the children when it’s needed. Whether taking them to preschool or kindergarten, this can help to establish a close-knit bond. There are also situations where grandparents serve as the legal guardians of their grandkids, functioning as both parent and grandparent. Given the extra responsibility and the affection it conveys, being a parent to grandchildren can lead to a meaningful relationship.
While a grandparent that functions as a parent of their grandkids lives by different rules, those who are just grandparents have more freedom. Most of them don't have to enforce the rules as strictly as parents do. While it’s important to set boundaries and keep your grandchildren safe, you can leave the discipline up to the parents.
By keeping in contact with your grandkids and visiting frequently, you’ll develop a comfortable relationship with each other. But, it’s important to keep in mind that they should see you as an elder that they should listen to! Setting boundaries is one of the best ways to build solid, healthy relationships with grandchildren.
For the sake of a child’s development, it’s important to have good role models in parents and grandparents. FamilyApp is a wonderful way to interact with all generations in your family. You can use our message boards and calendar to talk about and plan activities together.
By sharing memories and spending time together, you're developing the kind of relationship that can forge a lifelong bond.