The UN’s International Day of Older Persons is just around the corner on 1st October. This year the theme set for the day is ‘Stepping in to the Future: Tapping the Talents, Contributions and Participation of Older Persons in Society’. We thought this was an excellent time to have a look at the contribution grandparents make to their families, and to society as a whole. Here are the Shepherds Friendly top 10 reasons why grandparents are the best.
They Say Yes – Often
Kids live in a rule bound environment surrounded by a great deal of do’s and don’ts. Firm boundaries are of course essential to bringing up a kind individual who is valuable to their society and community, and so parents and schools tend to do a great deal of saying No. They have to be consistent. Grandparents on the other hand, are better placed to say Yes. Yes you can have ice cream before dinner at Granny’s, because it’s not every day. Yes, you can stay up late watching a movie with Grandad, because you don’t have school in the morning.
They Have Time
Grandparents who are retired, with adult children who have flown the nest, have one huge advantage over parent’s doing the day job of raising children and often working too: they have time. Family life with children is fraught with demands on the adults’ time. There’s never enough of it. One-to-one time with siblings can be tough because of the demands of others.
Sometimes homework needs doing before dropping at the childminder or bedtime reading becomes school books because there wasn’t enough time to listen after a day at work. Grandparents can slow the pace. They can stop to pick the flowers on a slow amble through the park.
They Have Patience
Following on from them having more time, grandparents often have more patience. They aren’t living with the constant demands and requirements of a child, so they can be more patient with them, and give them their undivided attention.
They Have Perspective
Grandparents have been there, done it, and got the t-shirt. They realise that each phase and stage of parenting is short-lived and passes in the relative blink of an eye. They are also distanced enough from the everyday to be less emotionally invested in the minutiae of every detail. Whereas a parent may be tearing their hair out because their 7 month old isn’t mastering finger food, a grandparent knows they will get there in the end.
The Have Resources
Parenting is an expensive lark. Often one parent will have taken a career break, or gone part time. Simultaneously, the majority are still in the depths of paying off their mortgage. Add in childcare costs, and the constant need for new shoes, school trips, and extra-curricular clubs and there often isn’t much left over. Grandparents on the other hand have often finished paying off their mortgage, and have far fewer demands on their funds. This means they may have cash that is worth investing in their grandchildren for the future.
From just £7.50 per month, you can start saving for your grandchild in a Young Saver account.
They Have Stories
Grandparents have a lifetime of interest and stories with which to regale their grandchildren. What’s more, many of these stories add to the culture and heritage of the child themselves. Grandchildren just love to hear about the time Nanny met the Beatles, or what life was like before the internet.
They Like to Indulge
Children love to be indulged, but rarely is there the right venue or time. Mum and Dad might be fed up of watching the 25th rendition of the self-styled play, or eating another pretend biscuit from the toy kitchen. Grandparents however, are happy to get lost in the world of the child just as much as the child likes to be indulged.
They Are Proud and They Show It
Brits are pros at downplaying any kind of achievement. Grandparents, however, have a special licence for being proud as punch of anything and everything a grandchild does. They are the loudest personal cheer-leading squad.
They Are the Background Support
Parenting is hard. It’s relentless at times. It can also be very isolating. Grandparents are on hand to provide the background support needed for the parents to parent well. Yes, there may be disagreements over parenting ethos’s now and then, but they fundamentally have the parents’ and the grandchild’s back.
They Love Unconditionally
Unconditional love in childhood is the cornerstone of secure, stable and adjusted adults and children. There are no limits on it, but it doesn’t apply to every relationship. Grandparents love their grandchildren as unconditionally as the parents – and that’s a powerful thing.