Grandparents are indeed a treasure to cherish. As a child I was extremely close to my maternal grandfather whom I used to call as Muthachan in my native language Malayalam. Those who have already been here would definitely know that I am truly influenced by him and quote him every now and then. I wasn’t as close to my maternal grandma whom I used to call Ammamma. I wasn’t blessed enough to meet my paternal grandfather, who expired when my Dad was just nine years old. This made my paternal grandmother (Achamma) face a very tough time raising her six children, the youngest of them being just over a year old. This I believe made her a bit rough and harsh and she lost the warmth and kindness that other grandparents have. I do not remember her talking to us like other grandparents do. She was always busy or used to be very stern. Something which kept me aloof from her, even during our annual visits.
Here’s the seven ways in which Grandparents make a Difference in the lives of grandchildren.
1. They teach adjustment
Having people other than parents around does help the child learn to adjust to new family members. It also makes them responsible as they see their ailments and have empathy towards them. This acceptance of relationships benefits them mentally and emotionally.
2. Lending a listening ear
Many a times children aren’t able to tell or discuss their problems and issues with we parents who wear the mask of the bad cop. These are moments when grandparents play a vital role. They provide so much love, warmth and trust that the kids find it easier to share all their woes and difficulties with grandparents. Similarly, grandparents too find it easier to share their stories and troubles with grandchildren.
3. No child can live without Love
Though we parents do love our kids madly, but the mad race to provide them a decent life style keeps us from expressing our love often. This is where grandparents support. They shower immense amount of love and care that is so necessary for their proper growth and development. I read this line on one of the parenting posts and it felt so good and true.
“Grandparents are like an old shady tree lovingly showering their cool shade to the grandchildren.”
4. Common Enemy
“The reason grandparents and grandchildren get along so well is that they have a common enemy.”
Isn’t that true? That’s exactly why they get along so well and plan their moves against the common enemies, us. 😀
5. Mutual blessing
A grandchild is God’s reward for raising a child.
― Bill Cosby
They indeed are a blessing for each other and in effect a blessing to us.
6. They provide a lot from support to encouragement
They share their experience, wisdom, provide inputs that parents cannot, give necessary (and sometimes unnecessary) support and encouragement to their grandchildren. They add a rich sense of culture and tradition to the child’s life. They help them develop skills which we as working parents are unable to teach. They most often are role models or mentors to the children and help in teaching values, instilling ethnic heritage, and passing on family tradition.
7. They spoil them
Yes, you read that right. They do spoil them. One example I can quote from just this evening. We were at the temple (this entire week we’ll have regular evening visits owing to the 7 day festival that’s on) and Lil Love was creating a fuss demanding coconut pieces from Lord Ganesha. I did check, but there were no broken coconut pieces available. My mother who reached temple a little later with my Dad, bought a coconut, asked Dad to break it in front of Ganesha and gave it to Lil Love. All along I was scolding her and asking her not to throw tantrums and behave properly. And within minutes, my mother, who is also a teacher, erased all that. My Dad who was very strict about discipline and mannerisms for me and my little sister, too has changed the rule book for our kids. I believe, this happens with almost all the parents of my generation. How I wish I had my grandparents with me during childhood.
My parents are so against me for scolding and punishing the kids. My mother has such a soft heart that she literally ends up crying if I punish any of them. I think she forgot those days when she used to pinch me in the school bus during our return journey after the exams, twist my ears while we used to walk towards home, feed me while scaring me with a Chameli stick, make me re-write the entire exam at home again and then give me a good dose of thrashing. Though I must admit that it was those thrashings only which made me what I am. If I think from her point of view, how could she fail raising two girls as a single parent.
Acha with Lil Love
And now my dear Dad, he was so strict that we used to actually pee when he raised his voice. And the same Dad now supports Lil Love so much in her mischief that I feel agitated. I get all the more angry when they reveal my mistakes in front of my kids. Gurr#^%*$^%*^ 😡
Acha, I hope you are reading this.
I feel blessed that my kids have the good fortune of having the pleasure of meeting both set of grandparents over the weekends. My parents stay very close to us and they have been assigned the duty of dropping them to school and picking them up in the evening. Thus they meet daily and get to complain about me regularly. Even before I tell them anything, they’ll get all the information through these naughty little girls. I get annoyed many a times, but I do love their bonding. 🙂
I am sure you all have similar or better stories to share, do use the comment box to enlighten me.
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- Withered Dreams Revisited
- Beyond the Horizon
- Dusting off the torn pages of memory