We should treasure grandparents for their never-ending love, compassion, and wisdom. They are the cornerstone of our families, these elder nurturers. They have traveled the path before us and can lead us into a deeper appreciation of what it means to be human. They provide the foundation for which we build our lives.
We should cherish the stories and experiences they share as those link us forever to our cultural heritage.
Grandparents can be a child's ally in fighting against discrimination, violence, and intolerance. They are the living witnesses to the slow unfolding of our destinies. The world needs these elderly caretakers more than ever. Let us celebrate them for their wisdom, stories, and deep love.
Grandparents have always played significant roles in our lives, whether we realize it or not. While they get perceived as a font of wisdom, their role is much more varied and vital in actuality.
They are teachers.
Grandparents don't need teaching credentials for lecturing us or for the endless lessons they enrich us with. They are natural teachers from history to fine arts to cooking, grandparents have a lot to share when it comes to experiences and skills.
They teach us patience, confidence and courage, and they teach us how to live with a sense of purpose.
Grandparents teach us about our cultural background by sharing family history experiences and stories. They teach about values by sharing stories of the past. And they teach us about life in general—because they've lived it and can share from their personal experiences, which we won't always get from our parents (unless your parents are also grandparents).
Grandparents offer us a unique perspective of the world, and they can be great role models. Grandparents are "non-judgmental." They aren't concerned about our popularity or our appearance. As a grandparent once put it, "They just love me for who I am."
They will also protect us quite fiercely. We can always find refuge from the heartache of our parents in a grandparent's embrace.
Grandparents give us their attention. They are fully present when they're with us, and that's a rarity these days! So if you're having a bad day at school or work, head over to Grandma or Gramps' house.
They fill in where Mom and Dad fall short.
Raising children is no walk in the park. The phrase "it takes a village to raise children" is somewhat accurate. Grandparents will help alleviate some of the parental stress by giving parents a break and stepping in. Whether it's taking the grandkids to a park, helping buy their school supplies, or being there emotionally, grandparents are ready to do what is necessary to help.
In an AARP survey, grandparents spend an estimated $2,562 annually on their grandchildren. The numbers were projected to rise as grandparents responded that they enjoyed spending money on their grandchildren.
Grandparents can be playmates, cheerleaders and even surrogate parents.
They'll always offer an unbiased opinion to their grandchildren because they love them unconditionally.
Grandparents are selfless and will go out of their way to make their grandchildren happy.
They'll take them for ice cream or let them sit in front of the television, even when they know that it's time to stop these things. Grandchildren can do no wrong in the eyes of a grandparent.
Grandparents are the ones who never say no to you when you ask for a treat or a toy - and will rarely say no if you ask for something like "just one more." They are always there when we need them the most.
They act as mentors.
Grandparents can enrich us with so much from passing down family values, traditions, skills, and knowledge.
The world is full of advice on raising your children, and the internet has not made it any easier. It's easy to get caught up in what others think you're doing wrong as a parent, but having a grandparent sharing their wisdom and helping guide you will take all of your worries away.
Plus, grandparents are always ready to spend an afternoon with their grandchildren, whether it's going for a walk talking about life or building something together.
Grandparents have conquered the world, and they understand that life is about the more minor things. They never take time spent together for granted. They have a goal to help us become kinder, wiser and happier souls as we navigate through life.
They are eager to help solve your problems and challenges, and they are happy to be able to share their wisdom and experience with you.
They will always be there for you—no matter how many times you ask them the same question over and over again when you were little, no matter how angry or upset you get with them as teenagers, no matter what mistakes you make in your lives—they'll always be there to lean on.
They are spiritual models.
Grandchildren often hold a lot of respect for their grandparents, which gives the grandparent influential powers. They see the grandparent as a role model for how to live a good life. Children will mirror the habits and actions being modeled by their grandparents, who they aspire to be like.
It's important to model good behaviors like kindness, affection, empathy and integrity if you want children to learn how to be good humans. Grandparents tend to be impartial and can help you navigate through difficult situations because they've already been there done that. Their knowledge is invaluable.
Why are these roles so vital though?
Research has proven over the years that grandchildren who have grandparents involved in their lives have real benefits.
In the same AARP survey mentioned earlier, respondents agreed that "having grandchildren has a positive impact on mental health." so basically, grandkids make grandparents happier people.
A recent study from Boston College concluded that a close grandparent-grandchild relationship reduced the risk of developing depression for both parties. Grandparents that have active involvement in a grandchild's life reported more satisfaction in their lives and better health overall.
It is imperative to your health to have a good relationship with your grandparents as it can be said that they are the key to a happier life.
Grandparents give grandchildren a sense of security which helps them become more confident. A grandparent's active involvement also strengthens communication between parents and their kids.
Grandparents may only get to hold your hand for a while, but their stories and memories will remain with you forever. Always treasure the time spent together.