If you’re a grandparent, you have a lot to be proud of. No one else can provide a child with that special package of support that a grandparent can bring. Your contribution, as a grandma or granddad, is a bonus to your grandchildren, even if you don’t get to see them often. Here are just some of your special, grandparent powers – just in case you missed them.
You have the wisdom of experience
You’ve lived through a great many more experiences than your grandchildren so, naturally, you know things they don’t. You’ve learned how to tackle a range of problems, deal with all sorts of people and cope in different situations, and you can draw on all this in your grandparent’s role. You’ll have sound advice to offer, warnings and reassurance to give, and much more, with your worldly wisdom.
You probably have time to spare
If all your children have reached adulthood, your child-rearing days will be over, freeing up time to spend with your grandchildren. If you’ve retired, you’ll be free from work commitments, too. Parents tend to be too busy to spend as much time with their kids as they’d like, whereas a grandparent like you can often share hours of fun with the youngest generation, sharing stories, games and adventures with them.
You can enrich your grandchild’s education
With your accumulated knowledge and experience, you’ll have plenty of interesting facts to share with your grandchildren. For a start, you can tell them what school was like when you were young, and what life was like generally in those days. Perhaps you have stories from your own parents to pass down as well. You can show them all sorts of interesting things, such as some of the wonders of nature, and teach them songs and nursery rhymes that your own grandma taught you. You’re sure to have some specialist knowledge to share, too. Perhaps you can teach them how to sew, dance or play an instrument, or how to make delicious pancakes. By sharing your knowledge and know-how, you will inspire your grandchildren to learn even more.
You can offer an independent ear
As a grandparent, you’re a close blood relative to each of your grandchildren, yet a step away from their immediate family. This could be an invaluable asset for them. Children often turn to a grandparent when there are tensions closer to home, or some issue they find hard to talk about with their parents. Sometimes it’s easier to share problems with someone a generation back than with your own mom or dad, as you may have found yourself as a youngster. Even if none of your grandchildren ever need your help in this way, they have the comfort of knowing you’re there for them.
You provide a link to the wider family
Your relation to your grandchildren, as one of their parents’ parent, offers them a glimpse into the wider family. Your connection to them is like a bridge, linking their family unit to the broad network of relatives around them, and those who came before. This will boost their sense of identity and belonging, and ultimately, their self-confidence. Your very existence can provide this perspective, but you can take it further, too. If you tell your grandchildren about the wider family – the aunts, uncles and cousins they’ve never met – they’ll be fascinated.
You may be actively involved in rearing your children’s children, or you may only have occasional contact – the details don’t matter. Whatever your contribution, you can be sure it’s a valuable one. Your grandchildren know you’re there for them, and that’s what matters most. Anything more you can give them will be an extra bonus. If you can spare the time for a good, two-way chat now and again, they’re fortunate kids indeed!