The world needs the sweetness and innocence of young kids. And young kids, well, they need the sweetness and love of their grandparents.
There’s something extra special about seeing our parents interact with our children. We almost get to see them in a whole new light. So relaxed, SO happy, so full of love and patience for our little darlings. There’s no worry about rules, routines, the day to day needs – they just get to soak up the awesomeness of our children and enjoy their vibrant and sweet personalities. They get to love them – without the stress of whether they’ve eaten properly, have friends, need a diaper change, are sleeping through the night, are doing well in school, etc. They get to love them without any other disruption in the world.
And that’s precisely why kids need them.
Young children crave emotional security, physical security and most of all: Attention. As an infant they may get a lot more loving and attention from their parents, but as time goes on, parents urge them to be more and more independent so that the day functions more smoothly. That’s just how life works. Parents have too many other things on their plate to be able to give young toddlers 100% undivided attention. It’s impossible.
But grandparents – they can. When grandchildren are visiting, grandparents have only one focus in the world – and that is to enjoy them. How amazing is it that our children have adults in their lives that will play with them, love them, adore them, spoil them, appreciate them, and have nothing but time for them? Not only that, but grandparents really dote on very accomplishment and every cute action of your child. They are even more fascinated by our little beings than we are! This unconditional love stabilizes kids. It makes them feel secure, safe, wanted, appreciated. And doesn’t every parent want that for their darlings?
In addition, grandparents are great for reinforcing the values you impart to your children at home. They reinforce them, normalize them and through stories and play, help children see why those values are so important. There are things my kids learn from being around grandparents that I could never teach them otherwise. They learn sone things directly and other more subtle things from watching our interactions with them. For example: how to interact with and take care of elders in your family, to do special things for them, to visit them, to share our joys and sorrows with them, etc. In a sense, if you want to build strong family values in your child – you can’t limit it to just your own little party. I think children need to be surrounded by extended family, and especially grandparents. You work so hard every day to raise your kids to be good and successful human beings – so don’t deprive them of a key element that will lead to their success – a solid family foundation and an understanding and respect for how different family relationships work.
Although my parents don’t live in the same city, we are lucky that my husband’s parents at least live close by and my girl squad is able to get that undivided attention and loving on a regular basis. It’s a regular part of their week to see them, and recently, my eldest has even started doing sleepovers every weekend. (Granted her favorite aunt being there and the promise of lots of cookies and iPad time also contribute to her excitement, but we know it all stems from her deep bond with her grandparents).
If your parents are alive, I would highly encourage you to make sure they are an active part of your children’s lives – it’s one of the best things you can do for everyone involved. You owe your parents that joy for all the crap they went through to raise you, and you owe your children that joy because they are the reason you wake up content with life every morning.
So to all the grandparents out there, including my childrens’ – You are the best!