THE IMPORTANCE OF GRANDPARENTS

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This piece does not really need an introduction – the heading says it all. Whether we realise it or not, grandparents play a crucial role in our upbringing. For a little kid, grandparents are almost the equivalent to a real-life fairytale character, one they can get constant attention and cuddles from. I strongly believe having a close relationship with your grandparents contributes to the person you end up becoming later in life.

There are many studies to suggest that children with close relationships with their grandparents tend to have fewer emotional or behavioural problems. Research also tells us that a child who has had a strong connection

with their grandparents which continues into adulthood are less likely at a risk to suffer depression. On the reverse side it is also suggested that constant contact and interaction with your grandchildren actually helps with awareness, depression, cognitive skills and adds to the longevity of your life.

Grandparents are the parents that do not have to raise you, eliminating any reason for them to be a burden in a child's life. Grandparents do not have to say no, a word that parents are usually heard saying. Grandparents are literally there to love you totally and unconditionally. They smile at you because you make them smile; whether it is giving you presents for no reason, letting you eat cake for breakfast, taking you to the park, shopping trips or making holidays adventurous. Their wonderful stories about the good old days, helpful insights and fond memories of family history is something you will remember forever, especially when you listen to their stories about when your mother and father were little.


If you are about to become a grandparent or have just become one, welcome to the most exciting time of your life. People say that becoming a grandparent comes with the same joy you feel when you have children but overloaded because you do not have the added pressure of raising the child, all you have to do is have fun! All the stuff you did not get to do when you were a parent. How fantastic is that?

I was one of the fortunate ones as I had four of the best grandparents ever. I have memories of amazing family get-togethers, hidden lolly and chocolate cupboards, Santa sacks full of unexpected presents, fishing trips, late night snacks and hot chocolates, trips into the city on the train and laughing till my stomach hurt. They were there when I cried, when I was down, when I started my first job, when I graduated and on every birthday I had. When I went on my first ever overseas trip by myself, I would make it a point to call them from every country I visited. All four of them contributed to the person I am today. I get my ability to laugh at myself from my maternal grandfather. I was taught to be a lady and to be fair by my maternal grandmother. My father's parents taught me how to listen and value my opinion and that being the first-born grandchild was very important.

Being a grandparent is a very important role. You contribute too much to a child's life whether you realise it or not. The more love you put in, the more you will receive. Grandchildren can offer you so much from true companionship to a greater love and respect that even your children may not be able to reciprocat. The relationship is so special that your legacy will live on through the love that you have given.

My grandparents are all just a memory to me now but there is not one day when I don't think about them. There is not a single day that goes past by me where I notice doing something that they have taught me. Their love lives so deep in my soul that they will remain alive through me and everything I teach my children and my children pass it on to their’s. Whatever I faced in life, I know that I was loved unconditionally by my grandparents.

If you have grandparents, call them, spend time with them, ask them about their life and listen to their stories. They have raised your parents and have lived a life that plays an important role in yours. And if you are a grandparent, make sure you keep in constant contact with your grandchildren. They need you in their life and in return they will add great value to yours. •


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