In today's hectic world, it is common for families to lose touch and children to grow up without really getting to know their grandparents, particularly if the family is scattered across the country. Even if grandparents don't live nearby, relations can be renewed with regular communication via telephone, email and webcam. The relationship between a child and her grandparent can be special and mutually beneficial.
Support for Parents
When people become parents, their own parents often become a huge source of emotional support. It is natural for a woman to turn to her mother, for example, for advice on all aspects of pregnancy, childbirth and raising a family. Involving grandparents in the newborn's life is beneficial to all parties; the grandparents feel a special part of a joyous occasion, the parents feel supported and reassured by the older generations's experience and advice, and the baby is able to bond with his grandparents from a very young age.
Spending time with grandparents can help a child develop in many ways. Children can become more independent by taking overnight trips to a grandparent's house, which is going to be less stressful than a sleepover with friends. Kind, loving grandparents make children feel safe and secure. Spending time with grandparents can help children develop learning skills, because grandparents are likely to have the time to spend helping children with their schoolwork and hobbies.
Grandparents can be wonderful role models to their grandchildren. The older generation is in a position to teach younger family members about their cultural heritage and the history of their ancestors. Older children and teenagers may feel unable to talk to their parents about difficult situations or relationships, and instead choose to confide in a grandparent with whom they have a strong, positive bond. A grandparent may be more likely to remain calm and react without judgment or admonishment than a parent would, as well as being well-placed to offer the youngster good advice.
If grandparents live nearby and are willing and able to look after their grandchildren, this can be of enormous benefit both to the parents and the grandchildren. Looking after the children while their parents are working saves the considerable cost of child care, and creates plenty of opportunity to create close relationships. A grandparent who looks after a child regularly when the parent is elsewhere has the benefit of one-to-one time with the youngster.
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