A Grandparent’s Touch

Baby and Grandmother

“Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.” Deuteronomy 4:9

The relationship between grandparents and grandchildren is complex. They store the past, celebrate the past and become a memory in the future. In this age of technology growth we may have gain instant information but we have missed out on the simple niceties of life. Holding a face to face conversation with someone, the physical response to conversation creates additional depth that cannot be felt through a text. Grandparents and grandchildren’s relationships comprises of a more lenient and compassionate element. The grandparents recognizes the speed in which time is passing and the grandchild feels love and support from this family teacher that establishes a solid self-esteem. It also supports that the connection allows for the relationship to change over the time so that the one who needed support while growing up can now reciprocate to the caregiver as they age.

The relationship between a grandchild and grandparent is a very special one. While grandparents act as an authority figure and provide unconditional love, they also get to spoil their grandkids in a way parents simply can’t. But beyond that, grandparents also wield incredible influence. Here are 10 things grandchildren can learn from their grandparents.

World History

Children can find out what it was like to grow up during the Great Depression or World War II from grandparents who experienced life during that time. Personal stories are much easier to remember than lists of names and dates from books.

Teaching a new skill

When they were growing up, many grandparents learned practical skills such as sewing, gardening, baking, farming or woodworking. These are great things to pass on to grandchildren, as they may not be commonly taught anymore, but are still very useful talents to possess. They also understand how to use an item or product fully, teaching recycling in a practical way.

Wisdom

Life lessons and other advice delivered by grandparents have more validation because they’ve often lived through the same or similar experience — possibly more than once.

Family History

Everyone has those old black and white pictures of unknown relatives or family friends, but grandma and grandpa may actually know where they were taken, the history behind the picture and who those mystery people are. Resource for your family tree — who are their siblings, parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles? You’ll know about tons of family members you didn’t know existed, even stories about their parents that the parent may not want told!

Humor

Teasing is a part of growing up, but when it comes from someone who loves you unconditionally, it’s way more enjoyable. Learning jokes and pranks from your grandparents is a great way to bond with them and understand how to react if you’re teased by your own peer group.

Listening

Many young children are used to their parents listening to everything they say, and they expect others will do the same. While this is often normal for young children, it’s important for them to learn how to listen to others as well. Listening to their grandparents reminisce about the past teaches the children how to listen and participate in a conversation.

Games

Playing card and board games instead of video games encourages successful social interaction. Learning to share, play fair and understand how to be a good winner are important life lessons that will serve they well in their life.

Emotional Support

Having a sounding board who doesn’t spend every day with you, like a parent or guardian does, can be invaluable when you’re trying to navigate the teenage years. Amy Kelly of Libby, Montana says,

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

Grandparents have lived long enough to realize not to get upset over the little things; life is too short. Young grandchildren think everything is hyper-important, but can learn to adjust their priorities after discussing problems with their grandparents, who have a broader world view.

Snail Mail

The art of letter writing is fading. It’s great practice for kids who are learning how to write. Purchase postcards, stationery and stamps and set up some pen pal time with your grandparents and you can each send postcards, letters or souvenirs about is going on in their lives. You’ll both have a great time waiting for the next letter to come in the mail, and grow closer in the process.