It’s no secret that grandparents bring a whole host of benefits when they are involved in their grandchildren’s care. As trusted members of the family, many of them play a big role in the daily caregiving for the little ones – picking them up from school and making sure they have ready meals and their homework done on time.
But there are also a lot of intangible benefits to having grandpa and grandma around all the time. Grandparents provide a strong sense of belonging and identity to the young ones by connecting them to a bigger extended family, for one.
Read on to find out other ways that grands can be a positive presence in their grandkids’ lives:
Pass on their knowledge & skills
With a lifetime of experience under their belt, grandparents often have plenty of practical knowledge and skills to pass down. Many are great cooks, know the most efficient ways to get things done around the house, or are good with their hands. These are useful and practical life skills worth passing down to the younger generation.
Spend quality – and quantity – time
Grands are usually at a life stage where they are winding down in their careers, and hence have more time to spend with loved ones. Free from the daily grind of work, they are usually able to take their time to play or connect with their grandkids. This means more time for conversations, trips to playgrounds and engaging in shared hobbies and interests.
Respect and uphold household rules
Grandparents, while trusted members of the family, do not replace parental authority. When it comes to discipline, it is especially vital that grandfolks sing the same tune as parents and respect the rules set down for the children.
Keep the communication lines open
Sometimes managing differences in childrearing expectations can be a real challenge. That’s why it’s important for grandparents and parents to keep the communication lines open by talking about difficult situations in a calm, non-judgmental way.
Learn from the grandkids!
Lifelong learning is not just for younger folks. With the fast pace of digitalisation, grands need all the help they can get keeping up with the times. And there’s no better way than to get the young digital natives to show the seniors in the family how to navigate apps, mobiles and all things tech. It’s also a great way to model lifelong learning to the younger generation!
While it can be a great joy being part of a multi-gen family, it’s no easy task balancing the roles of caregiver and playmate. So, if you’re a grandparent who’s lending a hand in your grandkids’ upbringing, always remember to give yourself a big pat on the back!
If you are keen to learn more about grandparenting, Families for Life has extended their Triple P programme to grandparents. For more information, do get in touch with your nearest family service provider.