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Grandparents and their role in the family

As it could not be otherwise, grandparents have their own day on the calendar. and we did not want to miss the opportunity to talk about the role they play in families.

Grandparents have always had a central place in the family. Furthermore, over the years the role of grandparents has been increasing, due among other reasons to the increase in life expectancy and quality of life.

Growing up with grandparents present has great advantages. These are some of the main ones

  • Support. Grandparents can be very important attachment figures. Grandchildren usually find unconditional and stable support in them. They tend to be a refuge and source of comfort when arguing with parents, for example.

  • Referents from another generation. The relationship with grandparents contributes to the development of social skills with people from other generations. They learn how to communicate or behave. They are very useful and necessary capabilities for the future.

  • Care. Without a doubt, grandparents have become great caregivers for their grandchildren. They are usually the first people that parents think of when caring for their children since they are a guarantee of love, trust and dedication.

  • Affection. Grandparents are an immense sign of affection. Not only with hugs and kisses, that too, but with a smile, making you feel the center of the world, that loving attention... Grandparents can even be more affectionate with grandchildren than they were with their own children. In general, children tend to feel very loved and special when they are with their grandparents.

  • Values. Grandparents are often a source of wisdom. The passage of time has that, that you learn a lot and end up knowing a lot. The same thing happens with values. Elders tend to be clear about their values and those they consider important do not hesitate to share them with words and deeds.

Likewise, grandparents reap great benefits when they can actively participate in their grandchildren's lives. For example:

  • Improves mood and cognitive skills. It has been more than proven that mood improves when spending time with grandchildren. In addition, it is a source of stimulation that allows them to stay more awake and cognitively active.

  • Rewarding experiences. Taking care of the little ones encourages forgotten experiences to be carried out again, such as: going to pick them up from school, giving them a bath, taking them to the park or watching a movie together. Activities that they did with their children and that they now have the opportunity to do with their grandchildren. Very gratifying moments that fill you with energy and vitality.

  • A new purpose. For many grandparents, participating in the upbringing and care of their grandchildren becomes a central objective in their lives. They see it as an important role they have and a motivation. It helps them feel useful and recognized.

  • Increased self-esteem. The relationship between grandparents and grandchildren is usually pleasant and much more relaxed than with parents. Although grandparents set limits, grandchildren see them as people with whom they are entertained and have a good time, since the parents are already in charge of the “less pleasant” part of parenting. For grandparents, feeling loved by their grandchildren and being considered fun or loving people is a boost of self-esteem and joy.

It is clear that there are many benefits for both grandchildren and grandparents but we must not forget an important aspect, grandparents also need to be cared for and respected. How can we do it?

  1. Understand your limits< /span>. Grandparents, as a general rule, do not usually say No, but that doesn't mean they can do everything. It is very stimulating for them to take care of their grandchildren, so they will rarely refuse anything you ask. Therefore, it is very important that you take into account their limits so as not to overload them. Look for activities that suit both parties. If they can't go to the park to play, you can suggest drawing or doing puzzles at home.

  2. Accept when they say no and their limits. Although as We have said it is usually strange, accept it when they say it. On the other hand, the capabilities of grandparents may be somewhat diminished. Energy, agility, ability to understand, memory... They may continue to be perfectly functional but that does not mean that they are at 100% of their capabilities. Surely they are happy to help you but they won't always be able to do it or in the way you would like.

  3. Say things with love and empathy< /strong>. There are probably things that you don't like and that you should say so that your relationship does not suffer. It is best that you do it with kindness and respect. Establishing good communication is very important. If you consider it necessary, you can agree on rules between you so that the relationship flows and conflicts do not occur.

  4. Watch your health. Grandparents also need certain care. Try to get them to stay active, eat well and exercise their mind. As we have said, grandchildren are an important source of stimulation in every sense, but other areas should not be neglected.

  5. Encourage him to have his own life. There are grandparents who focus so much on their grandchildren (picking them up from school, staying with them on the weekend...) that they abandon activities that are also important and necessary. Meeting friends, going on vacation, signing up for some recreational activity... Make sure there is balance in your parents' lives. Don't mortgage all their afternoons or weekends, let them have spaces to develop their own activities.

  6. Thank you. Without a doubt this point is very important. Grandparents are role models and dedicated and loving caregivers. They fulfill a role in the family that undoubtedly deserves recognition. They won't ask for it but we all like that they value our effort and dedication. Don't be stingy with words of gratitude and if you can, a little detail never hurts.

The family is a treasure that we must take care of. Our parents, turned grandparents, are cornerstones in our lives. That our children grow up with their grandparents is undoubtedly a great gift. Grandparents are not always close but that doesn't mean you have to lose contact. Take advantage of vacations, weekends, make video calls or frequent calls... Don't deprive your children or your parents of those moments. Unfortunately, they will not always be with us, so they deserve to be cared for, loved and shared every day with them.

We would love to know your opinion about the role of grandparents in the family. You can leave it in comments.


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