Grand-parenting has always been important. But in this high-stress, fast-paced world, it has taken on new importance. Here are 5 reasons that grandparents should step up, not check out!
- Grandparents have time and space to be with kids. In a culture that has so many kids enrolled in after-school programs and daycare, grandparents can provide connection and a listening presence. Often grandparents step in during the early years, even providing part-time child care for kids.
- Grandparents hold the family history. Not everything is in on Google. For countless generations, grandparents have been the keepers of history and tradition. Helping kids know where they come from, family heroes, stories and even tragedy that gives context to the lives of kids.
- Grandparents are sometimes the best teachers. Often parents are rushed and busy, but grandparents can take their time. They are usually less pressured and more conscious of safety. And who better to teach them how to bake a pie or fix your bike?
- Grandparents provide an additional safety net. A good friend of mine had a daughter go into early labor, and the baby is still in the hospital. The grandparents are taking care of the 5-year-old twins. There are few people that you could ask to take your twins for an undisclosed period of time; grandparents are down for the cause!
- Grandparents give unconditional love. Parents have to worry about grades, housework and making sure kids are towing the line, but that can often feel like they are loved ONLY IF they do things right (Even if that is not the case). Grandparents can focus on enjoying what kids are and give love without having to worry about the rest.
In a world that needs compassionate and balanced children with a strong connection to their communities and the world around them, grandparents play a key and un-replaceable role.