“A grandparent has silver in their hair and gold in their heart.” – Unknown
Grandparenting is a role that is bestowed upon older adults. Spending time with grandchildren, is such a joy in the life of a grandparent. Whether the children are blood relatives or the neighborhood infants, toddlers or teens, grandparents influence the lives of those they spend time with.
My grandparents played a critical role in the lives of myself and my siblings and my kids were blessed to know and love their grandparents. Perhaps this was true for you as well. I had to wait almost 62 years until my son and his wife had their first child. What a blessing! I did have practice loving, caring for and being with my great-nieces and nephews, as well as the neighbor’s children for years. I suppose that was good practice for me! The bible says that “children’s children are a crown to the aged and parents are the pride of their children.” Proverbs 17:6
There are various types of grandparenting, but the research says there are apparently five distinct types. Which one do you fall into?
- Distant grandparenting – this has nothing to do with geography, but rather about emotions. These grandparents are not very involved in their kid’s or grandkid’s lives for reasons of age, busyness or just disinterest. Sometimes it’s difficult to become attached.
- Indulgent – these grandparents like to spend on gifts, clothing, and things and think that buying the grandchild’s way into their hearts is the answer. Others indulge the children with love or time.
- Parenting – Grandparents that take on the role of raising their children’s children become like the parents which can be a challenge, but a necessity.
- Wisdom Givers – Giving advice, sharing family history and sharing wisdom are grandparents that like to discuss the period of time they grew up in.
- Fun Seekers – These individuals like to laugh, play soccer in the backyard and get on the floor and play with the children.
Almost every grandparent has some of one of these traits which enriches the lives of their grandkids in more ways than one.
According to a recent study, 96% of adults 65 or older in North America, are grandparents. Many of them have 4-5 grandchildren on the average. Of the 8-year-olds today, almost ¾ of them will have a living great grandparent by 2030! The biggest obstacle for grandparents, especially during the pandemic, is being apart because of geographical factors or restrictions keeping families apart.
So, what do we do when we can’t be physically with our loved ones? Adults are using technology. Zoom meetings, Skype or Facetime to connect when face to face meetings and time together are not possible. Phone calls are still important for staying in touch. The important element is being able to converse, connect and care about each other even if the distance or obstacles are in the way.
Just last month, a day is designated as “Grandparent Day”. Watching your family grow, share the love and be together are energizing, invigorating and enhancing experiences because the kids keep you young, give you reason to be active and give the best hugs and cuddles! Share the love!