The Importance of Grandparents in your Childrens Lives

In this day and age, grandparents don’t always live near their grandchildren; in some cases, because of the distance apart, family reunions only occur a couple of times a year. Then there are dysfunctional families in which grandparents don’t even get to see their grandchildren, at least not on a regular basis. Nevertheless, there are a lot of advantages to ensuring strong relationships between children and their grandparents, even if most of the time it has to be by phone, letter, or email.

Unconditional love

As parents, you probably sometimes struggle with your children, particularly when seeing them on a daily basis and having to deal with recurring issues. The stress of everyday life can often get in the way of good relationships. Grandparents, however, who probably don’t see their grandchildren all that often, almost certainly see them in a more positive light and, in any case, will forgive them for any mistakes they make. This unconditional love is important to children, who may sometimes feel that their parents don’t care, or don’t have enough time for them.

A buffer between parents and children

The bond between parents and children is obviously very strong. Sometimes, it can be too strong. You probably have a very clear idea of what you want for your children; you won’t want them to make the same mistakes that you feel you made, for example, so you may try to persuade them to do things that they don’t really want to do. In cases like this, grandparents can be vital. They can help you to see that you cannot rule your children’s lives and they can help explain to their grandchildren that you are only trying to do what is best for them.

Passing on of family traditions

Some of the most important memories children have of their childhood is the time they spent with grandparents, particularly during holidays, and all the traditions that took place. Something as simple as a favourite breakfast, or opening presents around the Christmas tree, will be remembered for years to come. The deep sense of belonging that children have when with the older generation of the family is priceless, especially because grandparents tend to have the time that you probably don’t have as a working parent to put the finishing touches on traditions.

Role model

Many children see their grandparents as role models. This can be a fabulous way of ensuring that your children are instilled with the morals with which you grew up and are probably still developing. Grandparents can teach their grandchildren the importance of kindness, acceptance and hard work; few people reach middle age without realising that life throws up various hurdles that can only be overcome with these attributes. You are far more likely to be busy trying to bring home a regular wage packet to be able to do much more than the basics; grandparents, on the other hand, have time to lavish on grandchildren.

Backbone of the family

Ideally, children should be able to rely on both parents. However, with the divorce rate as high as it is, they often grow up with just one parent, or live most of the time with one and visit the other when possible. If you are a single parent, you will be only too aware of the difficulties of raising children without the support of a partner. Here, grandparents can be invaluable. They can take the pressure off you and offer advice if you so require. They also provide a solid point of contact for your children and, while you are busy struggling to make ends meet, they may prove to be the backbone of the family.

Depriving your children of regular contact with their grandparents may not seem like a big deal, but for all of the reasons above, making an effort to build on strong relationships between your parents and your children is a must.