It has been a quiet couple of months since our last blog on 15 classic old school parenting rules that are still relevant. Blame it on hectic professional life, some laziness and a bit of this COVID negativity – that sometimes you don’t feel energetic and motivated enough to put in clear thoughts on a paper.
On a positive front, we are happy to be in hometown with whole family for almost 4 months now because of the COVID situation, Vritima is happy to be surrounded by both grandparents and family members. She is having the time of her life, literally.
On the other end, there have been few personal losses in family and friend circles that have pushed us against the wall. A major heartbreak was the demise of my maternal grandmother (Nani) on 18th November 2020. Her sudden demise forced me to take an emotional trip down memory lane – to the time of my childhood. Every summer vacation we used to visit our Nana-Nani and have gala time. Their love & affection, the rides to the lake, visit to local fairs, mouthwatering homemade food, loads of gifts, their bedtime stories and the sweet scoldings, all those beautiful memories are itched forever in our hearts. And now, we realize that with her unconditional, selfless love, imparting wisdom and being an anchor of support, our granny has left behind a legacy that we will value for the rest of our lives. And I couldn’t resist to write a few words here to pay tribute to my most favorite, beloved Granny.
Coming back to the topic – Grandparents have profound and significant influence on their grandchildren’s behavior, development and growth. However, with the younger generations giving more preference to their professional career in the quest of making a living, which leads to the rise of nuclear families, the concept of living with your parents/grandparents is diminishing these days.
The 21st century parents have evolved and are living in a more materialistic, technology driven world that is much progressive and different from the previous generations. A big chunk of today’s parents are both working professionals and may not be able to spend much time with their children, unlike older times. For many new generation parents, grandparents are the resources to babysit the child in their absence. So much for the practical and progressive mindset. But don’t forget – with their vast experience, their wisdom and passing on traditions, the importance of grandparents in your child’s life is much more than you can fathom and way beyond just babysitting duties.
Megha and I have been living as nuclear family all these years; and during last 3 months, we have noticed a huge improvement / difference in Vritima’s routine, her behavior and development. And we couldn’t agree more that the role of grandparents in a child’s life is often underrated. With my granny’s death, we realized that it is all the more important to let our children be part of their legacy, let them learn the life lessons from the first hand experiences of their grandparents and improve family relationships.
Here are 10 good reasons why the influence of grandparents is so important in your child’s life:
1. Encyclopedia of Knowledge and Experience
Grandparents come with decades of hands on experience in parenting. Sometimes it’s easier for a kid to listen to his grandparent than any other adult. They are your perfect storytellers as they have so many stories and tremendous amount of experience from their own life to share.
2. Bridging the Generation Gap
We all have grown up in different generations and experienced different aspects of life. A bond between grandparents and kids can help them to bridge the generation gap and improve family relationships.
3. Family History
Grandparents are a link to a child’s cultural heritage and family history. They will be more than happy to tell stories of your family history – who your family is, the ancestors and where they come from etc. Studies show that children who know about their ancestors are more emotionally developed than those who don’t know about ancestors.
4. An Anchor of Support
One of the primary parenting responsibility is to support your child through thick and thin; and who can be better than a loving grandparent to provide emotional and physical support? In today’s fast paced world, children are often confronted with many life-changing situations and knowing that you have comforting grandparents is a blessing in disguise.
5. Learning Important Life Lessons
The most valuable lessons in life are free. Grandparents are the best teachers when it comes to learning valuable life lessons – be it basic etiquette like being polite, respecting others and teaching moral values. They become your role models.
6. Balance Between Disciplined and Lenient Parenting
Parents are usually strict disciplinarians which sometimes causes the kids to refrain from doing what is asked and be stubborn or introverted at times. Grandparents, on the other hand, let them bend the rules and this can be quite effective to strike a balance in your child’s life. ‘what happens in grandma’s house, stays in grandma’s house.’
7. Gives Time
Grandparents can give children what many of the parents can’t give – TIME. We, parents, often get too busy trying to keep up with the demands of life, this is when grandparents come to the rescue and make up for the quality family time that children crave. They have tons of patience and can happily spend quality time with their grandchildren which provides a sense of belonging to your children.
8. A Break From Technology & Gadgets
Today’s digital age and technology driven world gives us leverage of wide range of devices and gadgets. The downside of this is that kids often resort to phones, tablets and other gadgets to keep themselves entertained. Most Grandparents have a magic power to keep children away from too much technology by adopting some creative ways to keep kids busy or by just having a storytelling session / conversation with a cup of ginger tea.
9. Bedtime Stories
Grandma’s bedtime storytelling sessions – This is, by far, the most cherished memories of your life. Waiting all day long for grandma to finish household chores, just to lay down in her lap after a hearty dinner for story time is simply – PRICELESS.
10. Better Family Bond and Relationship
In most children, the connection with their grandparents is the first bond of their life they form apart from their parents. Your grandparents have been together for most part of their lives and it helps children to form better family bond and relationships.
As I mentioned earlier, the role of grandparents in children’s life is underrated. So if you have a grandparent, know their importance and love them with all your heart. Having grandparents in our lives is a privilege and in these hard times & pandemic situation, even they crave for our love and bonding as much as we do.
Make us of this COVID situation and let your children spend some quality time with their grandparents, if your child’s great-grandparents (your grandparents) are around, even better. Be thankful and count your blessings, because theirs is probably the last generation who showers us with selfless, unconditional love and cultural & family values. Otherwise, our 21st century’s so called technology driven, materialistic and practical minded generation will definitely not be able to carry forward their legacy to our grandchildren in years to come.