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Benefits of Grandparents

by Lori Sciame | August 23rd, 2012 | Elementary
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My kids were lucky; they had four grandparents living in the same town. As a result, all four became a large part of their lives. Now that my youngest is 15, and one grandma recently passed, I am grateful they spent as much time as they did (and still do) with the older generation.

Grandparents add a wonderful component to a child’s life, but especially to the lives of a child in elementary school. Here are four ways in which grandmas and grandpas can benefit your child.

1. Unconditional Love

Most grandparents that I talk to say that they treat their grandchildren differently than they did their own children. There doesn’t seem to be as much pressure to do the right thing, and all that’s required — giving lots of love. Elementary children love being completely accepted. Even on the toughest days at school, just knowing that grandma and/or grandpa will listen and not judge, makes everything better.

2. Glimpse of the Past

Grandparents also benefit an elementary age child by providing insights into how “life used to be.” In a child’s eyes, thinking about grandma and grandpa as young proves difficult, but not impossible. My children loved to hear stories about the milk truck, telephone party lines, and cut throat marble competitions. Learning about the past helps a child to develop a respect for history, and it helps them to see that the world changes.

Another bonus is that grandma and/or grandpa can pass on special skills, such as needlepoint and woodworking, as well!

3. A Playmate Who Drives

Many grandparents love to play with their grandchildren. AND, they can drive to boot! This means that a child has a playmate that can actually transport him or her to the park, the pool, or even to the go kart track. The benefit of this part of the relationship can be described as learning to appreciate the fun moments in life.

For example, my parents took my oldest son to the Japanese Market in Chicago literally a dozen times while he was in elementary school. They would buy a few Japanese snacks, listen to other shoppers speak Japanese, and end with a meal at the food court. All the while my son had the time of his life, and these fun moments led him to minor in Asian studies in college.

4. Serious Security

Parents do give children a sense of belonging and security, yet having a strong relationship with grandparents can make them feel even safer in this crazy world of ours. What could be better than having a grandparent stop over if a storm suddenly pops up and mom and dad are stuck at work? Or maybe your daughter continually forgets to take her glasses to school, and grandpa has to bring them. It’s nice for grandparents to “have a child’s back.”

Making time for grandparents only benefits your child. Even if grandma and grandpa live 2,000 miles away, strive to develop relationships. Skype, cell phones, and even Facebook can keep kids in touch with them.

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