You know what they say: parents are there to discipline a child, grandparents to spoil them. Most of us remember the joy and excitement of going to grandma and grandpa as if it meant getting a VIP ticket to a magical world where the fun never stops. However, along with the fact hanging out with grandparents usually means no restrictions (why wouldn’t you eat ice cream for breakfast?), it also implies great life lessons. We saw our grandparents as personifications of wisdom because they seemed to know all the answers. From explaining where snow comes from or how come the tummy hurts from so much candy – grandparents know how to satisfy child’s curiosity and arouse its imagination. Here’s why these ties are so special.
It’s an evolutionary thing
Grandmas and grandpas may be one of the greatest reasons we came this far as human species. According to the article published in the journal of the Association for Psychological Science, grandparents have always provided additional support and they participated as caregivers working side by side with parents. Today, they continue doing so: they are motivated to invest time and money into raising their grandchildren and they feel the inborn need to leave behind their legacy and ensure the best possible future for the younger generation.
It includes a mentor-student relationship
Grandkids will believe anything that their grandparents say. For them, grandparents are sources of endless knowledge. However, life lessons are learned with such an ease as the knowledge is cleverly broken into small portions of wisdom that grandkids consume subconsciously on a daily basis. It can be through listening about the “good ol’ days“, asking questions and drawing conclusions or by watching how those delicious cookies are made. Spending time with grandparents helps kids gradually understand the complexity of life and death, as well as the necessity of compassion. When grandparents become ill, it is important to include kids in home care so they can learn to help and discover how the circle of life works. Of course, you shouldn’t expose them to everything. Little protection is advisable as kids’ eyes are widely open and they soak in everything.
It’s a precious two-way street
It is fascinating to see how children cannot bridge the generation gap between them and their parents but turning to grandma and grandpa seems so natural. Grandparents are usually less judgemental and they play a role of a mediator in conflicts between their children and grandchildren. As peacemakers, they teach about the importance of making family a priority. According to a MetLife Study, 67% of grandparents insist that preserving family ties is the most valuable thing to pass on to their grandkids. The elderly know it’s precious to teach children about family history and their roots. The beauty of storytelling is simply mesmerizing: it’s what makes us humans. Grandparents learn from their grandkids too: they offer a window to an innocent world view, they keep them young with a million new ways of entertainment, and they bridge the void between very different times – the ones grandma and grandpa experienced and the technology era we are witnessing today.
It’s about unconditional love
Grandparents have discovered the true meaning of life is loving our close ones and living in the moment. Life is short and the present is everything we have and so grandparents are dedicated to family completely. Grandkids can feel that attention: this is why they love going to grandma and grandpa – they are constantly treated as rockstars! They learn something valuable out of this relationship: it’s not enough to love someone but nurturing that love, showing affection, and being devoted to that person – that’s what makes the heart warm up.
When we grow up a bit, the bond with our grandparents strengthens and evolves and so we cherish it in a different way, with more awareness. One thing’s for certain: the circle of life continues and so we too will probably become grandparents and enjoy this relationship from a different perspective.