“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.” – Henry Ford
Perhaps, one of the greatest examples of ‘keeping the mind young’ is when we see our children and our parents enjoying the same game at the park or having the same conversation.
As a wife, someone might feel putting up with in-laws might be difficult, but as a daughter, it feels great to have them as second parents. As a mother it is great to have them as a guiding source for your children. Grandparents are a huge support system for kids and the love is mutual. They probably get along even better than parents at a certain age.
My daughter is growing up in what we call a ‘home’ but actually it is just a house where few important relations are missing. But it is not always by choice, sometimes it is how things work out best. My daughter would be deprived of all those ‘snuggling, pampering, caring, loving, sharing, accepting’ moments which she can only experience with her grandparents.
I reminiscence those wonderful moments spent with my grandparents. It was like an ever-happy land like the fantasy stories my grandmother used to tell me or the small strips of moral stories my grandfather enlightened me with. My daughter might not be able to understand that bond or they will be able to bond at a different level. Grandparents would be like some faces speaking out of the Skype screen.
After being a mother, I could probably list out the reasons why kids get along so well with grandparents.
1) They enjoy ample amount of time.
Being parents (parenting) is a busy job, but being a social person today is much more hectic. For working parents, it is their job which keeps them occupied with thousands of household and non-household works. If you are stay-at-home mom, either you are working from home or you might have numerous chores to attend to. If you are away from your family, it is basically impossible to list down the things you and your husband needs to do, the list never seems to end. Sometimes knowingly or unknowingly, our children get neglected because we are not able give them time. We can send them to the park to play but isn’t it wonderful when they are accompanied by their grandparents. Grandparents fill in this time gap which parents might not be able to gauge.
2) They enjoy a ‘no-scold’ comfort.
Hardly have we seen grandparents scolding or beating a child. It is like getting back their own child for the grandparents or probably better like something they had waited for life. Grandchildren are like precious gems to them and they kind of always want to keep them safe and secure. They cannot possibly scold them because they think these lovely little humans are incapable of doing anything wrong. And even if they do, everything is forgivable. Sometimes parents scold them out of frustration or under stress, but grandparents always have that cool to deal with kids calmly.
3) They enjoy all the pampering.
I guess, grandparents and pampering go hand in hand. You ask for it and it is there. Grandparents can never say ‘no’ for anything. They think if their grandchild has wished for it, the world can be turned upside down to get it. Parents might pamper their child but also have a strict regime. Sometimes it is good to be pampered but there should always be a bottom line to it. It should not be that whenever parents say no to something, they know an easier way to get it- their grandparents.
4) They enjoy quality time with them.
Kids learn to understand and enjoy small, trivial things about life. They learn values which parents sometimes fail to instil due to lack of time or interest. Those fables, fantasy tales or moral stories, however, old-fashioned or imaginary, hold a lot of significance still today. They get to learn the values of life in a different way, a way that they will always remember. They learn to enjoy the things in life like old times with less worries and apprehensions. They feel assured that somebody is there to ‘actually play’ with them.
5)They enjoy reciprocation.
Kids always want to be heard and reciprocated. This is also one of the major building blocks in their formative years. With grandparents they can play ‘their game’, talk ‘their language’ or make things ‘their way’. They seem to talk their language. Parents sometimes show disinterest or ignore talks from their child either thinking it is too funny or unimportant. But grandparents have all ears for their little stories from school or what Pokemon did today or what they learnt today. Patience is something with age teaches us. And what best way to put it to use than listening to those wonderful explanations, stories and opinions. The unwanted blabbering by our kids might be annoying or funny to us but might be a great source of relaxation and enjoyment for our parents.
It is not a one way affair, grandparents also enjoy this quality time and space. When they start feeling redundant or unwanted or aged, these kids are a great way to leap back and hop on to life. They teach and they learn. They learn to enjoy once again, they learn to share and they learn to live life. They feel important and wanted. This is probably one of the best takeaway from this grandparent-grandchild bond. It is called LIFE.
I do not want our parents to be mere faces on the Skype screen to my daughter; I want them to be relationships, something she will cherish forever. I want them to bond whenever they are together; I want both of them to enjoy LIFE like they want to. And what better joy to just sit back and see ‘two influential generations’ share and care to enjoy life the simple way.
How many of you enjoy listening to those incoherent conversations between your child and grandfather? Have you ever seen how your mother-in-law becomes a child with your son? Isn’t it fun to watch our parents or in-laws doing a train all over the house with our child?
Indeed it is. And rightly said by Mark Twain, “Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.” It is applicable to both the generations, we link; age is no bar, it is the soul which needs an expression and the mind which need freedom. Share your little stories too!Happy Parenting!!