According to World Health organization (WHO) report published in April 2011, the life expectancy for male is 65.5 where as for female it’s 67.7. As the health facilities are getting better and new technologies are jumping in, this trend is expected to increase resulting in the living being of more old people. Usually a lot of negative conclusions are drawn from this trend but through this article I will focus only on the positive ones.
We hear it a lot that older people are a burden on society and increase in number of them results as a burden on fewer workers. But the true picture is quite different, they are one’s who laid the foundation of modern society and probably they have contributed much more when it comes to working hours and paying taxes. Even in old age when they are labeled as of ‘NO USE’, they contribute the most as Grandparents. Grandparents are mostly labeled positively as supporters, arbitrators, roots, prayer warriors, story tellers, nurturers or stress buffers.
Although mother’s fondness for her children is universally acknowledged, the relationship between grandparents and grandchildren is no less exception. It’s usually exciting, satisfying and enjoyable. According to Ogden Nash, an American humorist ‘When grandparents enter the door, discipline flies out of the window’ indicating that the rules and regulations that were applicable on their children does not apply anymore to grandchildren.
Grandparents always have time to listen incoherent chattering and they very easily answer the repeatedly asked questions. They always find good out of every activity and are always there to appreciate the little ones.
In the following article my focus would be on the importance of having grandparents and the important role they play in their grandchild’s life.
Grandparents, a strong support system
Grandparents work as a nucleus to family which keeps all others close to one another. Their life and their experiences are a big asset to new generations and therefore parents always look forward to grandparent’s approval over parental decisions and behaviors. When a new born arrives into a family it becomes a life changing new journey for parents. And this is when parents turn to their mother and father for advices about their new born. Grandparents are trusted the most than anyone else.
Grandparents, a link to other worlds
Grandparents help their grandchildren understand the true realities of life by sharing their own experiences. For example a grandfather can tell his grandchildren about what consequences he has to face when he stopped studying and left college in the age of 16 or the other way round what benefits he received after doing masters. All the fame and respect he enjoyed because of getting higher education. Grandparents also provide their grandchildren a sense of history about how the world was at their time.
Learning about ageing and bereavement
Grandparents unconsciously deliver two very important realities of life to their grandchildren, growing old and bereavement. By looking at grandparents, grandchildren practically experience what it means to grow old. Either parents or grandparents tells the new generations how they were once carers and now as they are growing old they look forward to be taken care of. For many children the first experience of death is when either of their grandparents passes away. Thought it’s very painful but this provides children with a close experience of the bitter truth.
Flexibility amongst grandparents
Grandparents usually are more flexible than anyone else and therefore they are always preferred first. Parents usually place their children with grandparents as this is the most secure place they can ever think of. Grandparents act as a strong support system specifically in case of single parenting.
Grandchildren always look forward to a unique form of acceptance from their elderly grandparents who help them emotionally as well as mentally. They specifically play a major role at times of family disruptions. Grandparents play different roles most of the times, as play mates and some time as mentor or role models
Grandparents, wise confidants
Confidants are defined as those people with whom one prefers to share secrets or their private matters with a belief that they won’t share those with anyone else. For most of us our grandparents stand as ‘Wise Confidants’ because of the fact that they have seen the true realities of the world and have a huge experience spread over a series of time. Grandparents are the best teacher who teaches the lesson of love, sorrow, joy, and success.
Grandparents, a wizard
Grandparents play one of the most important roles as wizards. This way they help the little ones being more imaginative, that in future results in highly-intellectual, excellent at verbal skills and emotionally stable gentleman. Most grandparents often pamper their grandchildren with their fantasies and become part of that. Also grandparents help make daily tasks playful and replace those with imaginations.
In a nutshell grandparents stand as historians. They teach values, implants ethnic heritage and passes on family traditions to help coming generation enjoy a worth living life. They provide them with a map of successful living and in return they always look forward at young generations making proud their elders.
Grandparents offer their grandchild with a broad range of knowledge, emotions and experience they had as parents. Though Grandparents are different from parents yet they are highly trusted and provides safe and secure place to the little ones. At times when children are not able to approach their parents, they know the right place to go.
Rightly said by Suzanne La follette ‘What good fortune it is to grow up in a home where there are grandparents’