Grandparents are a blessing to their grandchildren. They bring with them years of experience which helps them play a vital role in making important decisions. Grandparents also add a lot of cheer and happiness to the family, especially during family functions and special occasions. They also fit in beautifully with the changing trends of today’s families. Ask any child who lives with her grandparents and she will tell you how she enjoys being friends with her grandpa and grandma.
Uma Maheshwari, a Senior Executive, Human Resources, with Ford India says, “We live as a joint family, with my mother-in-law, father-in-law, my husband’s brother and his family, all in one house. It’s really a great feeling to be a part of such a lovely home. My in-laws have taken up the responsibility of bringing up my children, by teaching them good habits and manners.”
Senior educationist and parenting expert Meena Swaminathan feels the relationship between grandparents and grandchildren has been constantly changing over the years. “Today’s grandparents need to work really hard to keep pace with the knowledge of their grandchildren. With information available at their fingertips, children are so clever and that makes the job of these elders a lot tougher. But, it’s good to see that the older generation is responding well too,” she says.
Jayaraman, a senior management consultant and his wife Rukmani Jayaraman, a personality development trainer, look forward to holidays to reunite with their granddaughters who live in Singapore. The little ones, 12-year-old Geethika and 9-year-old Thrithi, are always excited about listening to mythological stories from their grandparents. Jayaraman says, “I want to teach my grandchildren Tamil. For this, I narrate them, in Tamil, stories from our mythology. But at times, I tone down the violence in the stories, so that I don’t scare them. For example, I don’t go into the details of Lakshmana cutting off Shurpanaka’s nose, as it won’t go well with children.”
Grandparents also try to nurture the creativity and special talents of the little ones in every possible way. In fact, they take pride in their intelligence and smartness. Rukmani Jayaraman encourages her grandchildren to create tiny little craft toys. Renowned writer and Sahitya Academy award winner Indira Parthasarathy is quite ecstatic about his 16-year-old granddaughter Apoorva’s writing and oratory skills. He had been narrating her stories of Ramayana, Mahabharata, and plays by Shakespeare, and feels this has helped in nourishing her literary skills.
It’s quite a beautiful feeling to see how grandparents get along with their grandchildren, forgetting all their age-related health set-backs and inconveniences. They act as beacons of light to the young minds and nurture them with love and care. The relationship between grandparents and grandchildren is like a beautiful friendship that defies both age and the generation gap.
Some tips for better family relationships:
- Show interest in things that your grandchildren like.
- Try to involve them in whatever you do; but don’t compel them.
- Don’t have any difference of opinion with your children when it comes to taking care of your grandchildren.
- Always be cheerful and humorous when talking to your grandchildren.
- Even if you stay away from your grandchildren, be in constant touch with them.
- Recognise the contribution of your parents in looking after your children.
- Encourage your parents to actively involve themselves in family affairs.
- Always ask for their advice and suggestion on any family matter.
- Make sure they are in constant touch with their friends and peers.
- Talk to your grandparents daily. If they are not staying with you, make sure to visit their place regularly.
- Share your thoughts and life experiences with them openly. They are the ones you can trust completely.
- Make sure they stay happy and enthusiastic always. Your love and affection is all they need to get excited.