This weekend we celebrate my parent’s and my children’s grandparent’s Golden Wedding Anniversary and are looking forward to giving them a well-deserved pat on the back for fifty years of marriage, as well as celebrating all the good that has come out of that marriage, reminiscing over the fun that they have had together and with us, the commitment they have shown whilst bringing up their own children and the example that they have given to their grandchildren as well as their dedication to the institution of matrimony that has survived half a century! It will be quite a family get together and we’re all looking forward to it immensely.
Deep down though we’re also looking forward to sharing the day with the two people that have been a steady influence in our lives, that, through the ups and downs have always been there not just as a couple but for each of us with their own joint and individual blends, and in particular the way they have enhanced the children’s upbringing in their own special way.
Grandparents, for those who are lucky enough to have them in their lives, can play a special role in their grandchildren’s lives. Their remit covers a whole plethora of opportunity but essentially they can develop a unique friendship with their grandchildren that can almost add a 3D perspective to their lives providing a sense of the family’s cultural heritage and history.
They also can bring with them a whole rich skill set that can enhance their grandchildren’s childhood experiences. Knitting, crocheting, model building and woodwork, cooking, sewing and much more in many instances are skills that can get lost from generation to generation but grandparents are ideal candidates to pass these skills onto their grandchildren.
Besides their yarns of days gone by, they may also be able to share other stories, legends and games that pave the pathways from the past to the future intrinsically giving definition and depth to a child’s sense of being. From family traditions to the small nuances that make each family special, Grandparents who are able to spend the time with their grandchildren can help improve their development and learning skills. They bring with them a lifetime of experiences, skills and stories that can build children up in a holistic sense – feeding their interests, developing their mind and nurturing their souls. In their own way they can have a unique place in a child’s life that provides comfort and friendship as well as security and stability.
Children who therefore have had the chance to develop good relationships with their grandparents have been found to also develop higher self-esteem, better emotional and social skills and can even do better at school. Essentially healthy relationships across the generations that remain free from judgement and meddling and that are filled with love and support, can help children develop a better sense of who they are and where they have come from.
So even when the distance is as issue or parenting differences rear their head it’s worth encouraging good grandparent/grandchildren relationships benefiting everyone involved.