One of my absolute favorite memories I have is with my grandpa. We were in his living room with my grandma, and I believe my parents were there too. We were listening to music [I wish I could remember the song that was playing] & my grandpa told me to hop up on his feet. He began to move back & forth dancing with me. It was such a sweet moment that was there & gone so quickly, but I will always cherish it and hold it close to my heart.
My family & I just got back from a week-long visit to our hometown in Texas. The one thing I am most thankful for is how close our families live to one another. For starters, it’s super easy on us when we travel there because we don’t have to drive far to go back and forth! But mostly, it gives us that much more time to give them to spend with our two babies. It’s the coolest thing watching our parents play with our children. Some people may not realize how important these relationships are to your child’s emotional & social development. I’m here to share with you five big reasons why they are!
It takes a village
This is such an old saying that hits the nail right on the head! In most cases, parents of the child deserve 95% of the credit in the raising of their child. That other 5% is dedicated to all of the other influencers in that child’s life. Teachers, aunts, uncles, nannies, and you guessed it, grandparents! When the nanny isn’t available & you need to run to the grocery store or run some last minute errands before you have to rush back home and make dinner, who watches your kiddos? I bet at least half of you said “Oh my parents do!” Unless of course you are a military family & don’t live close to family [insert ugly cries]. Other than their parents, grandparents are a very apparent and constant role in a child’s life [in most cases].
I bet most of us poke fun at older relatives in our lives when we see them struggling with technology or when they say, “I remember when we had to write letters & mail them to a person if we wanted to talk to them.” But views & old traditions can be such a great way to instill some humility into our littles. Older views like how to properly pursue & date a young lady, how to treat elders, holding the door open for others, don’t cuss in front of a lady, and many other things that most young children don’t seem to know these days. Traditions that have been passed down from generation to generation & learning about how those traditions started is also super important & gives the child a look into their family’s past. Which brings me to my next point…
Grandparents always have the best stories to tell! My husband’s grandpa will sit down for hours & tell you all about things he has done & hilarious jokes he has learned through the years. Grandparents can tell you things that your parents can’t simply because they have been around longer. They can tell you things about your parents when they were growing up & stories about your great-grandparents. Sitting & talking about memories & history creates a strong bonding environment for the grandparent and grandchild. You may learn something about them that you can relate to. Maybe they loved to play hockey when they were growing up just like you. You never know unless you just sit and talk with them and build that strong foundation of a relationship.
The child’s development
This is a big one & has been shown and proven in multiple studies around the world. Having strong & healthy relationships with your grandparents can have a significant impact on your emotional state as you get older. A certain study conducted by researchers at Boston College found that having an emotionally stable & healthy grandparent-grandchild relationship resulted in decreased depressive symptoms in all groups. Children with supportive and present grandparents are more likely to grow up presenting pro-social behaviors & be happier adults. Grandparents can set the foundation for a strong support system in the family overall.
Whether it be a name passed down, a business inherited or simply carrying on something that was important to them- it’s always important for children to respect who their grandparents were once they’ve died. My husband is the most loyal person I know. He has a respect and love for his family that I adore and admire. He was given the option to change his name when he was younger and he took that opportunity to honor two influential men in his life. His grandfathers, Craig & Thomas. He will carry on those names for the rest of his life. It may sound simple to most, but it’s a wonderful way to keep their legacy alive.
I cannot stress enough how influential these relationships are. Watching our children playing with & conversing with their grandparents this past week was such a blessing. Seize those moments while you can! It all happens so fast. So capture the moments, soak up the stories, & never forget the memories made! Don’t wait until it’s too late to spend quality time with them. Trust me, you won’t regret a second!
This post is dedicated in loving memory to Grandad. My husband’s grandfather. He was so generous & had the most kind heart. He are extremely grateful for everything he did for our little family. We miss you more than words can express.
As always, God bless†