The Importance of Grandparents to Your Little Ones

What a joy it is seeing your children interact with your parents. It can make you reminisce about being little again and stir up many memories of your own upbringing. It can also be a nice break in your day. Imagine getting things done around the house without holding one or two little beings while you do it.

It’s a unique relationship, grandparent and child. Both will reap the rewards of being around each other. And a close relationship between your child and your parents can strengthen or rebuild your relationships as well. It’s beneficial to everyone. It’s family.

Throw the cliché about grandparents spoiling your kids and letting them do whatever they want out the door. There is nothing positive or helpful about that. The relationship they have with your parents is different than with you as the parent, but grandparents should always support your parenting style and reinforce your rules.

They’re Great Storytellers

Grandparents can tell your children stories that will give them a window into the past. Your parents remember things about you that you may have forgotten or never known. Your children will enjoy these stories as well as those of how life once was. Imagine trying to communicate with each other without a smartphone. What did people do all day before television?

Have your mom or dad bring some old photo albums over. Each page will elicit story after story and laugh after laugh. It’s a wonderful way for your children to learn about your family history., and it may be the only way they will know about loved ones who are no longer with you.

They’ve Got Skills

Older people know how to do things we don’t do anymore. Your parents can teach your child how to sew, knit or crochet. Shining shoes, sharpening a knife and even using a library are other skills that are going by the wayside.

Gardening and woodworking are timeless passions. Some skills aren’t as practical in today’s world, and others we just don’t have the time for. Your parents can widen your children’s’ horizons with these skills and crafts.

They’re Big on Reading

You’ll love seeing your child on your parent’s lap enjoying a story read to them. Reading is an enjoyable, relaxing activity. Reading to kids will also make them better readers in the future.

Time spent with books improves your child’s cognitive and language skills. Even children who can’t talk will be mesmerized by books, especially those with colorful pictures or specially designed pages that have textures on them for your children to touch.

A long story can buy you some time elsewhere in the house, and often will be the impetus for a nap. Good job, grandma! Maybe you can get a nap now too.

They Enjoy Getting out of the House

You get to decide whether grandparents can take your children on an adventure without you. Give it some time, and make sure they are comfortable being responsible for an energetic baby or toddler. You have to be comfortable too, so don’t OK a trip until you are.

Once everyone is onboard, day trips with grandma and or grandpa will be invaluable to everyone. Grandparents might enjoy doing things you don’t. And yes, they are much more likely to buy your child something they want or treat to a fast food restaurant you’d typically disapprove of. As long as it’s not something you forbid or something which may cause your child harm, let the grandparents enjoy themselves.

Spending a day or a few hours with your child will keep your parents active and young too. Staying active in your later years is essential for physical and mental health. So a trip to the pool or the zoo is more than just fun. It will provide your parents with an opportunity to keep their minds sharp, and their bodies fit. Add a child to any activity, and it becomes a workout.

They’re Natural Teachers

Grandparents are our go-to babysitters. When something unexpected comes up at work, we know we can usually count on mom or dad to step in for us. While they are doing this, they become natural teachers to our children.

They can teach your children to help out around the house as best they can to surprise mom and dad after they return home. Grandparents can convey the value of helping others and being kind to everyone. They can reinforce right and wrong behavior and teach good manners. They can share their wisdom with our children’s young and developing minds.

Depending on your child’s stage in life, grandparents can be their babysitter, nurse, teammate, tutor, coach or best friend. Your children will always remember spending time with grandma and grandpa. It will be a precious lifelong gift. Your parents will teach your children things you may have overlooked or things that are not part of your life anymore.

Another cliché is that your children grow up too fast. Except that one is true. It may not seem like it at first, but the baby you’re feeding in the middle of the night will soon drive away in your car. Ask your parents how quickly you grew up.

Time spent with grandparents is mutually beneficial to your children, and it strengthens the overall family bond. Grandparents often try to make up for lost time they had with their children by spending it with their grandchildren. Let them. It will be a valuable and rewarding experience for everyone.

About Jennifer Landis

Jennifer is a TiP Team author, writer, blogger, foodie, yogi, runner, and mama. She loves drinking tea, deadlifts, and dark chocolate. You can find more from Jennifer at her blog, Mindfulness Mama, or on Twitter @JenniferELandis

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