2023 Author: Anita Thornton | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-22 03:30
Being a grandparent is the most beautiful role there is, it seems! But who are these “modern” grandparents and what role can they play in our lives and those of our children?
The role of grandparents
Today's grandparents are very different from those of previous generations. We are currently far from the traditional image of the lady in the white bun on her rocking chair with a knit in her hand and her husband smoking a pipe by the fire! Nowadays, grandparents are most of the time active and in great shape, they have a busy life, but also a lot of beautiful energies to pass on to the generations that follow them! And since they usually have fewer grandchildren than their predecessors, they have more time to devote to each of them and can thus get to know them better.
For parents, they can be precious allies who in turn become confidants, guardians to whom the little ones are left in complete confidence, an outstretched hand during a more difficult moment, a reassuring presence in our lives and those of our children. They can even help us let go of the parenting role that we sometimes take very seriously!
It's easy to be grandparents! That's what we tell everyone who talks to us about it. Through our role, we have the impression of giving space to our children, to our grandchildren too. We see that they are different with us. They feel that they have nothing to prove, to demonstrate. There is no power relationship. And being connected with them helps us to become aware of the feeling of continuity in the family, it is as if we were nurturing the growth of their roots. We are sure to create memories for them! From the birth of our first grandson, we felt that our life had changed!Jean and Danièle, grandparents of Léonard, 8 years old and Émile, 6 years old
The importance of harmonious relationships
Family harmony is what grandparents and parents want, according to author Francine Ferland1. And to do this, everyone must find their rightful place in the family. As much as the parent needs to be respected in what he chooses as education and lifestyle in front of his own children, so much the grandparents also need to feel that they are recognizedin what they want to experience as a relationship with their grandchildren, to feel that they have a space of their own where they can establish their rules, but also their special permissions, all in harmony with the family values already in place.
For some it will be a bedtime later, or a treat an hour before dinner. For others, it will be a meal in front of the TV or permission tojump on the beds! Little obstacles to the rules and moments of fun that children (and grandparents) remember for a long time! The important thing is to ensure that communication remains open with the parents in order to avoid frustrations and unspoken words. For their part, parents must accept that their child is able to understand that the rules are different at grandpa's or grandma's without this calling into question their values and own ways of doing things.
When my daughter was born, the relationship with my mother became very strained. I didn't like how she took it, how she took care of my child, I criticized everything. I know my attitude hurt her a lot, but it was stronger than me! Over time, I gained confidence in my abilities and learned to leave room for my mother, who is very different from mine, but who delights my children. Their grandma is an invaluable treasure for them… and for me too!Julie, mother of two children aged 2 and 4
Whether the grandparents live far away or in the same intergenerational home, whether they have a lot or little time to themselves, whether they are he althy or more limited in their activities and movements, each of us they can find a way to live this important role where pleasure or affection take a big place. Without a doubt, the richness of this privileged relationship benefits everyone, young and old!
In closing, as Grandparents Day is coming upbig steps, I would like to especially thank grandma Alexina, grandpa André and grandpa Réal who have a very important place in the lives of my little loves. A nice thought also for Grandma Jeannot, who left us last year and who watches over us from the top of her little cloud… Ariane and Thomas have not forgotten you!
And you? What is your relationship with your parents in their role as grandparents? What are your children's favorite activities with their grandparents? Share your experiences with us!