Are grandparents really that important?
Grandparents are important because grandchildren are important. A special dynamic only exists between grandparents and grandchildren that does not exist between a parent and child.
I have filled the role of child, grandchild, parent, and grandparent. As a child, most of the time, I looked forward to spending time with my grandparents.
Both of my grandmas spent lots of time in the kitchen. I loved getting in the way, and most of the time, they let me and enjoyed the process. Grandma Reynolds made taffy tarts as no one else could, and when I would ask for some, she would laugh and make them. Grandma Sirstad would bake all sorts of cookies for me, and on good days, we would make homemade potato chips. One time, she and I made homemade root beer. It fermented and ended up being poured down the drain. I still remember her taking the first taste and spewing it out.
Grandpa Reynolds was a storyteller. I listened to him for hours. When I spent time at his house, he would take me with him on his rounds, visiting church members. He told me the best time to show up at people’s homes was at dinner time. I still remember sitting with him in the car’s front seat and going to A&W for an ice-cream cone.
I have a few memories of my grandparent’s correcting me, and I didn’t feel good during those moments and didn’t always understand them. However, it didn’t take long for the hugs and smiles to return.
Many times, grandparents don’t have the pressures parents do. Grandparents tend to be more patient with their grandchildren. Grandparents have raised their children and usually have some misgivings with certain aspects of the process. They can remedy some of those misgivings with their grandchildren. Grandchildren bring purpose and enjoyment, in many cases, into the lives of their grandparents.
It was important to me that my daughters had time to spend with their grandparents while growing up. My daughters are all grown up now. I watch them interact with their grandparents now, and I have moments of jealousy. There is a bond between my girls and their grandparents that I do not have.
I see the unique bond between some of my daughters and my parents, and I see how my parents respond to my daughters. I see the banter, the hugs, the time they spend together, and I hear the words being exchanged.
How can I stay jealous? That is what I had with my grandparents. That is what I wanted for my daughters. Now that is what they have. I am thankful to God.
Parents, do what you can do to develop a strong bond between your children and your parents. If that is not possible, then find surrogate grandparents for your children. This will provide a relationship your children need that you cannot provide.
Grandparents are important because grandchildren are important!
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