Val's View: Embracing the Vital Role of Grandparents

Val's View: Embracing the Vital Role of Grandparents

Read on for some of my most cherished memories and musings on the role of grandparents.
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Grandparents make the world more gentle and kind

The gift of having a special bond with a grandparent is undeniably a lasting one. From my earliest memories of visiting with my grandparents, I felt a feeling of acceptance and love that I carry with me today. Our family of five was given the nurturing and generosity that I believe made us the secure adults we are. Our Nana and Papouli were immigrants from Hungary and Greece who helped instill the work ethic that all my siblings share. They would visit from New York with handmade clothing and treats that made us feel unique and cared for. Watching the way they carried themselves inspired me, and I was proud to be a part of our family. Taking us five kids to Radio City Music Hall without one of us misbehaving was proof of the fact that we respected and admired them.

Building a Legacy

A cluster of light pink and yellow orchids

The enchantment one sees through the eyes of a grandchild is magical. Their world of play and honesty softens one's heart and amazingly reteaches love. I have seen relationships between mother and daughter mend and find common ground. The idea of legacy through grandchildren keeps our hopes and dreams alive. Mentoring and life lessons are so lasting when taught by elders. As storytellers and sources of timeless wisdom, grandparents don’t engage in the same power struggles that sometimes exist between parents and their children. The emotional connections between grandparents and grandchildren are usually more forgiving than that. I recently became a grandaunt so I'm in training and cannot wait to experience my turn!


The Golden Years

The good news about getting to the age where you can relish in your children’s children is that you hopefully have more time and patience to see the simple moments that bring joy. Grandparents are the architects of unconditional love, capable of showering little ones with affection and creating a safe haven for kids to thrive emotionally. If you get to feel that magic, it will be with you forever. Grandparents are also living history books, so the more time young people spend with them, the more they instill pride in their unique heritage. As a grandparent, you get a front row seat to the wonder of generations growing up, and the cultural tapestry becomes more and more beautiful with time.

A white and yellow flower

Playful Companions

A cluster of purple hydrangeas

Oh to be a kid again! When you’re with your grandkids, you have permission to play. One thing I have witnessed is that adult children get to share in the laughter and watch their parents be silly and fun again. To delight in games and imagination with young children are priceless moments. Making memories through creative play is one of the best ways to forge strong connections. Building sandcastles, playing Candyland, and swimming at the hotel pool for hours are a few activities that come to mind.


Supportive Pillars

Grandparents serve as a reliable support system for practical advice and as a safety net for venting. Witnesses to challenges and achievements, they revel in their grandkids’ milestones. Grandparents are an integral part of any family. For example, my son has a wonderful bond with my husband’s mother. They can talk for hours about books and food, two of their shared passions. I respect that relationship and hope that I will be able to emulate it with a grandchild of my own soon. When things get tough in life, grandparents can provide a steady perspective and a beacon of light. Making time for intergenerational relationships should be a priority, so be sure to foster those connections as much as possible.

A light pink flower

What is your fondest memory of a grandparent or a grandchild? Let me know in the comments below!

XOXO, Val

1 comment

Richard Sepler

Beautiful written treasure
Thanks
Richard

Beautiful written treasure
Thanks
Richard

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