The Benefits Of Grandparents Spending Time With Grandchildren
At 23yrs of age I had the amazing opportunity to raise my nephew, who was 3 ½ at the time, as a single parent of sorts. I was working and studying and it was definitely a time of learning, change, challenges, blessings and a lot of fun! Looking back now I also realise that the benefits were so abundant and far reaching. It’s now approx.28yrs on and my husband and 4 children have the beautiful opportunity to spend time with my nephews little ones (which I consider to be my grandchildren) and I can definitely see first-hand the benefits of grandparents spending time with grandchildren and as you will read the benefits are mutual.
Fun! I get to spend time with my beautiful grandchildren (3yrs old and 1 ½ yr old) every week and had the opportunity recently to hang out for the day. Well the question is not what we did, but what didn’t we do! It was a day filled with so many different activities- but each involved laughter and fun! Their take on the things we did, from their perspective, was always from a place of wonderment, excitement, curiosity and loads of giggles. (Tip: Don’t turn your back – not even for a second- when making cupcakes – the batter disappears pretty quickly and you only end up with half the mix!)
Time spent together is always a learning time. Grandparents always have something they can teach their grandchildren, ranging from the simplest thing to the more complex. What we might take for granted and not worth sharing – they might think it’s the most amazing thing and learn from it. For example - we learnt sink or float with shells and other things in a container of water and then I brought out the old large magnets I had from homeschooling and wow, the 1 ½ yr old loved it and thought it was the most amazing thing she had ever seen! In addition the 3 ½ year old learnt the words attract and repel and saw it working in reality – so understood it!
A time of help and encouragement. Younger children love, love, love to help. So it’s a perfect time to foster encouragement and helping others is a valuable character trait to be reinforced and put into use as early as possible. Nearly everything we did – the 3 ½ yr old wanted to help, from carrying a bowl of popcorn to give to his sister, to unloading the dishwasher, so I let him of course. It doesn’t matter that things aren’t done to perfection, it’s the eagerness to help that is important.
They think you’re awesome even if your own children don’t think so anymore. Remember that feeling of when your own children thought you were amazing, could do no wrong and were their own personal ‘superhero’? (If they still do – well done!) What a high that was! Well, another bonus that grandparents can do no wrong in their grandchildren’s eyes! We’re the ones who can spoil them, are not embarrassed or too cool to be silly (like a song/silly dance I was asked to do), break their routine rules of when to go to bed and of not eating too much cake! Everything we show them and so with them is awesome to them, which is a really lovely feeling!
Gives them the ability to be able to communicate to all ages. Social intelligence or ‘people skills’ is the ability to successfully get along with other people of all ages. It’s a good thing when people can communicate to others no matter their age, thus giving opportunity to relate to other people outside their immediate family, is an important life skill. In addition there’s probably not much an elderly person wouldn’t have experienced, so it can be a comfort to younger person to have that ear to listen and then offer some advice.
Time is precious and really does fly by. I know this now, as I’m in my 50’s. If I had of known what little time I had left with my grandparents, I would have definitely endeavoured to spend more time with them and treasured that time more when we were together. I thought they both would have been at my wedding and then meeting my children but I was wrong. However, in saying that I did spend a lot of time with them when I was a child and have such fond memories of doing all sorts of activities with them, things I wouldn’t normally do.
Opportunities to learn new talents. Our grandparents might possess a different set of talents that can be taught to their grandchildren. I learnt different talents from my grandparents from; crocheting, different card games, knitting, fishing, cooking fish on a fire (that was started from scratch), rowing a boat, making jam and much more. I loved learning and doing all of those things so much that I passed some of them onto my own children and included some of them in my book series.
To sum up I really hope as many people as possible realise the benefits of grandparents spending time with grandchildren. The benefits really are mutual and it is such a special time in both grandparents and grandchildren’s lives that shouldn’t be taken for granted or underestimated.
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