I am writing this post because I love being a Grandfather and I think that grandparents have a lot to offer. I never really had an opportunity to get to know any of my grandparents, but from what I do remember they were so good to me and my siblings and I do not remember a cross word, one beating; I only remember the love, the patience and encouragement that they employed.
I also write this, because I think that grand parenting is in some ways a second chance to get parenting right, to give unconditional love and to lend a supportive hand to your children. If parenting is trial and error and an on the job sort of training thing, then grand parenting is a sharing of what you now know works and an ability to be that shelter, that cove that safe harbor where in times of strife and turmoil and stormy seas, your children and your grandchildren can seek shelter even if just for a little while to think things through, feel safe, seek answers as well as advice, with someone who loves them.
I think that grandparents are the glue that binds the family together, the teller of family and community history. Grandparents know of parent’s shortcomings and past indiscretions and can act as a buffer, when parents forget that they were once children too and not all that different from their children at certain ages. Grandparents are not perfect, but they do possess the wisdom that time bestows on an individual through real life experiences. I have 5 grandchildren from 4 months old to 17 years old and I love them all. They are all different all need something different from me and at times want it all at the same time, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I will be sharing some of good times and bad times and how this has affected us as a family. It gets rough to be in the middle all of the time, but the rewards are great and if you can achieve a sense of peace love and understanding throughout your family, without any new feeling that they have not been heard, or that they are not being respected then in my opinion you are succeeding as a grandparent and will help your children to be better parents and your grandchildren to love honor and mind their parents at the same time.
Being a grandparent is a time-honored tradition, that is all too often downplayed and marginalized in today’s fast-moving world and this needs to be changed. there is a gentle side to grandparents when dealing with their grandchildren and they tend not to be so shocked at things anymore, which allows them to become friends and trusted confidants to their grandchildren where sometimes it is impossible to do when trying to be a good parent. I remember someone saying once that when it came to being a good parent or a friend, the parent need always chose the parent.
There are many benefits and blessings to having your parents involved in your children’s lives and very few serious downsides that I am aware of. I have seen families being pulled back together by the total families love for a new-born grandchild.
- I have seen children now adults who for years did not get along with a parent, begin to get close because the child could see finally the love that the parent had and has for them, by the interaction between grandparent and grandchild and the new parents frustration with their child.
- Grandparents provide a safe place for both parent and child to vent without hurting each other and perhaps a place to find a solution somewhere in the middle.
- Grandparents provide a reality checking point for parents. As parents we try to protect our children from going through whatever was hurting in our lives, often forgetting that our children are not us and must learn from their mistakes. We become wardens instead of guides and a wedge is driven between us and our kids.
- When all else goes wrong, it is nice to know that before you have to brain that rude demanding teenager, punish the 2-3 year old that is trying your last nerve and you just need a break and some rest and relaxation, you can send the kids to the grandparents.
- Grandparents can also be an alternative to a child running away from home, a place to think, talk and be heard, because grandparents can afford to be a friend, an ear and a sounding board.
The down side to all of these great things is that:
- Sometimes we do not wish to be reminded of our past and have stories of our past behaviour bought up in front of children.
- Sometimes we do not want our children usurping our authority and running to their grandparents for help, when we wish them to just do as they are told.
- Sometimes we do not like to be told we are wrong.
- Sometimes we wonder why our parents the now grandparents could not have been like that with us and we get jealous of our children’s relationship with our parents, even though the answer is not a hard one.
In this case I think that the positive out weighs the negative in the grandparent scenario and the benefits far out weigh the downsides. For those of us that have issues with our parents and they with us, it is an easy way to come together on mutual loving ground and start over. Your parents could not treat you like loving grandparents, because they were not, they had not arrived at that point in their lives yet; the same reason you can not be a grandparent to your child. For better or worse they were busy trying to be for the most part good parents, like you are now. Wish as you might your parents will never let you forget they are your parents and you are their child and they will always feel that they have the right to tell your stories to whom ever they chose, so you might as well except it and get even by on getting that much-needed rest and relaxation and concentrating on the benefits rather the downsides.
In closing we often do not realise the value and importance and the wisdom of a parent or grandparent until they are gone from us forever. We as children often do not feel or see the love of a parent, because we are blinded by the importance of where we think our live should be going. It is this need to be independent and the urgency to be free that we forces us as children young and old to rebel, resist and resent, no matter how logical, how right the advice and the wisdom of our parents. Grandparents are for the most part just smarter more worldly parents, who have finally slowed down long enough to listen and hear what is being said; talk and not shout and reason, not threaten. Grandparents may be a pain in the butt at some times but I think that they are a necessity in the family structure that we can not afford to ignore and put on a shelf. Grandparents are in my opinion underrated and often not appreciated for the good that they do in maintaining the balance and infusing sense of unconditional love into the family.
- Grandparenting in the Digital Age (education.com)
- The Wisdom Keepers (drses.wordpress.com)
- Grandparents: Positive things you can say to your children about their parenting (seattlepi.com)
- More grandpas take on the role of single parent (kansascity.com)