A Grand Relationship: Why Grandparents Are the Unsung Heroes of Parenting

by | Jun 1, 2023

Grandparents play a significant role in our children’s lives. They are so much more than the go-to babysitters. Acknowledging this will create space for a beautiful, respectful and healthy relationship between your parents and your children.

Grandparents provide children with vital emotional support and guidance and often serve as a source of wisdom and experience. IRT emphasises that “children benefit from the undivided time and attention from older people that may sometimes be missing in today’s busy and technology-oriented world, and older people often find a new sense of joy and freedom that allows them to appreciate the benefits and joys of parenthood without the pressures of being a parent.”

One primary benefit of a relationship with grandparents is their emotional support. Grandparents often have a unique ability to offer unconditional love and acceptance to their grandchildren, which can help children to feel valued and secure. They may also serve as a haven during difficult times, providing a listening ear, comforting words, and a shoulder to cry on.

Grandparents also teach new skills while learning from their grandchildren. Grandparents offer a lifetime of wisdom that they can share. They introduce your little ones to new skills and hobbies while teaching them valuable lessons learned over their lifetimes.

Grandparents pass on family history and stories as their little ones grow and develop. They are crucial to giving your children a sense of belonging and building valuable connections. In addition to these benefits, grandparents can also play a valuable role in passing down family traditions and cultural values to their grandchildren. Through stories, shared experiences, and family rituals, grandparents can help preserve their family’s unique history and identity for future generations. This can create a sense of pride and connection for grandchildren and a deeper appreciation for their family’s heritage and traditions.

Your parents can also be excellent role models to your little ones. Through their words and actions, grandparents can impart values, ethics, and life lessons that may be different from those taught by parents or other adults in a child’s life. This exchange of ideas and experiences can help grandchildren gain a broader perspective on life and develop greater empathy and understanding for others.

One of the benefits of grandparents is improved mental health. Studies have shown that children with strong bonds with their grandparents are less likely to experience depression, anxiety, or other mental health issues. This may be partly due to the emotional support and guidance provided by grandparents and the sense of security and belonging that comes from having a close relationship with an older family member.

While the world has changed and we understand the need to evolve how we parent, grandparents play a crucial role in the lives of their grandchildren. They provide love, support, and wisdom that can benefit children throughout their lives. Grandparents offer a unique perspective and can serve as role models, providing guidance and mentorship. In many cultures, particularly in South Africa, grandparents are highly respected and revered. Their presence in a child’s life promotes a sense of community and belonging. Grandparents can be a source of comfort and stability during times of stress or upheaval, and their unconditional love can help children develop a strong sense of self-worth. What better older family members as role models and support than your very own parents?