I closed my eyes and my heart literally melted the moment I held my first grandchild. His soft-warm skin, his tiny head begging to be kissed and his squinting eyes nearly took my breath away. Nothing in my life prepared me for being a part of the “Grand Generation,” or for the overwhelming feelings of love and happiness each of my grandchildren bring to my life.
Being a parent is truly amazing and watching your own children with their children is gratifying in itself. If I had to choose one word to describe that feeling of watching them interact, it would be “Proud.” I often hear or see things in my sons that I did or remember saying or doing myself. Ironically enough, my mom and I often catch ourselves saying or messaging each other the same thing at the same time. Maybe the adage is true, “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.”
Jean Simpson of Newman Lake, Washington writes, “I think it is the most wonderful blessing to have grandkids. I adore watching my daughter be a momma and I especially like watching my 3 yr old and 9-month-old grandchildren climb all over her when she sits on the floor. Just seeing the love she has for her babies warms my heart like nothing else.”
On the flip side of the coin, Jessica Masden of Liberty Lake, Washington states, “I sometimes cry watching my kids interact with my parents. With how kids are typically raised nowadays, it warms my heart to see them have an old-fashioned relationship like I did with my grandpa. My parents are their hero’s and mine too.”
Patrick Devine, originally from Huntington Beach, California, remembers words of wisdom from his grandfather, “It’s better to be thought of as an idiot than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.” Devine adds “I’m sure it wasn’t my grandfathers quote but it has always resonated with me.” Impressionable memories!
As Grandparents, we Play a Vital Role in our Grandchildren’s Lives:
- Stability & Security – In a sense, grandparents are a “security blanket.” Grandchildren know they can trust grandparents to listen and to understand them when nobody else does. Research has proven, kids confide in their grandparents, telling them things they would not tell their parents.
- Infinite Patience – Grandparents are generally light-hearted, are not feeling the pressures of work, and the stressors of raising a family and meeting deadlines. We have more calming responses, can give more one-on-one time, and generally have endless patience which is emotionally beneficial to children.
- Family/History/Morals & Values – Kids usually like hearing stories about things their parents did when they were younger or stories about the way life was when their grandparents were growing up. Grandparents provide the element of history, sense of perspective and a plenty of laughs along the way.
- Unconditional Love – A grandparent loves their grandchildren unconditionally. “Spoiling” grandchildren and seeing them happy, makes us happy. Believe it or not, research has shown “spoiling” by a grandparent is a good thing. Grandparents make their grandchildren feel special in ways nobody else can.
- Fun – Spending time with grandparents is fun for children. We play games, go to the park, take them camping, watch movies and read books. We make memories that define family!
Studies Prove Grandparents are Beneficial in The Lives of Their Grandchildren:
Research by Ann Buchanan from the Department of Social Policy and Intervention of Oxford University showed how the role of grandparents in their grandchildren’s lives increases the well-being of children. The study reports that “more than 1,500 children showed that those with a high level of grandparental involvement had fewer emotional and behavioral problems.” Professor Buchanan has also addressed all parliamentary parties in the UK to raise awareness of how grandparents positively contribute to children’s well-being.
A study in Belgium involving 1151 kids aged 7 to 16, who are close to their grandparents are less likely to show bias towards older adults.
A study of approximately 1600 children ages 11 to 16 in England and Wales indicates that grandparents provide advice and support when their grandchildren need it and that grandchildren turned to their grandparents before others to help them solve problems.
Additionally, research proves that children who have close relationships with their grandparents will be more involved in helping others and the environment.
In short, being a grandparent is a true gift. Although we may not always agree with our children on every aspect of parenting, we must respect their rules (less candy, electronic times, bedtimes, and more). There is no comparison to the importance and joy of being a part of the life of a child, being able to offer unconditional love, emotional support, and being there to encourage them and share experiences with them.
Cherish the experience and the memories!