The Loving Role of Grandparents in a Family’s Lives

— Written By N.C. Cooperative Extension

image

Grandparents can bring special nurturing to the grandchildren in their lives.  They can provide the extra love and listen to children when parent’s lives get busy.  They are able to give love and attention within the rules and limits of the parents.  If they spoil or pamper too much or try and influence the upbringing of their grandchildren too much, their love can be harmful rather than helpful.  The way grandparents show their love can influence and build strong lasting trusting relationships with their grandchildren.

Fun-seeking grandparents who take the time to be informal and playful and share activities with their grandchildren usually have joyous relationships.  The more a grandparent fosters communication and talking with grandchildren the stronger the relationship can be between them.  The more formal grandparents who still give some attention, gifts, and help occasionally with care for the children can still have strong relationships with their grandchildren, but might not be seen as so playful or as strong a confidante.  Grandparents can help children understand the past and how it influences the present.  When they share stories of their lives, they give children a positive understanding of growing older and how things change over time and create meaningful memories and experiences.  So remember throughout the year and not just at holiday times, if you are a grandparent, to share your time, stories and love with your grandchildren as often as you can.  If you are a parent or a grandchild, remember to include grandparents in your lives and listen to their stories, share activities and benefit from the love they have for their family.