To a child, grandparents are the greatest companions, entertainers and comforters in their world. They seem to always have treats in their apron pockets, they let you play with tools in the workshop your parents never would, and they allow you stay up late reading books and eating popcorn (or was that just mine?!)
The squeals of joy from our children when they arrive at their grandparent’s house are the surest sign of how loved grandparents are.
Author Marcy DeMaree summed it up when she said: “Grandma always made you feel she had been waiting to see just you all day and now the day was complete.” Yep, Marcy was spot on.
Here are 8 reasons grandparents are so wonderful
1. Grandparents aren’t your parents
Kinda obvious, huh, but THIS is the crux of why Nanna and Pop are so great. Of course, it almost goes without saying that parents are wonderful, necessary and vital people in a child’s life. A parent’s love is a beautiful, powerful thing to behold, but there is so much at stake in the parent-child relationship.
Grandparents have a different kind of love, simply because they’re not parents. They don’t have to discipline in the same way as parents, they can sneak in treats every once in a while (without worrying about cavities and dental bills!), they know how to have a good chuckle, and can even have a quiet word when you need it. And because they don’t nag often, our kids will probably listen to their advice.
2. Grandparents know how to create calm from chaos
Sometimes life descends into a special kind of chaos that only rampant sickness can bestow. And in times when it all seems too hard, and your family is in the grip of a gastro bug that has every member of the family groaning in their beds, the emergency call is made. Some minutes, hours (and sometimes, a plane flight) later, the grandparents arrive in a beam of light and wade into the fray. Like fairy godmothers, they wave their magical wands and peace is restored, tempers settle and the mayhem slowly abates. The sun is finally coming out again.
3. Grandparents teach us about the world, language, animals, culture and cuisine
Whether it’s baking the 100-year-old family sponge cake recipe with your grandma, learning to knit with Nonna or building model railways with your grandad, grandparents share their interests and hobbies with their grandkids. They are a wealth of knowledge and make wonderful teachers.
4. Grandparents prefer the here and now
Grandparents are refreshingly impervious to notifications beeping on phones, red notification boxes in Facebook windows, or Snapchats begging to be watched. They may be ‘trendy’ and keep up with their families on social media, but in their hearts they are old fashioned. They prefer warm hugs to emojis and chatting face to face to clicking ‘like’ on your selfie.
5. Grandparents are great listeners, and have a different perspective
As our children get older, their grandparents become their greatest confidant, their go-to sounding boards and the shoulder upon which they can cry. As teenagers, we seek out our grandparent’s world views and perspectives because they are so different to our own. And as always, there’s nothing like a good, long cuddle from Grandma.
6. Grandparents are wonderful storytellers
Our oldies have experienced so much of life, love and culture and are brimming full of wisdom, wit and spellbinding stories. Often we’ll find them telling our children wild stories about their youth that even WE didn’t know about!
7. Grandparents make the best babysitters
For a kid, there’s nothing quite as exciting as knowing you’re going to Nan and Pop’s house on Friday after school and staying for the whole weekend. Granted, there’s nothing quite as exciting as knowing your kids are at your parents’ house for the weekend, either! So it’s a win-win.
Maybe there’ll be trips to the zoo, board games, baking and bush walks. Perhaps there’ll be late night hot chocolates in the kitchen and hide and seek under the stairs. Often there’ll be rumbles on the grass and chooks to feed.
8. Grandparents are the best house guests, too
For grandparents who live far away, Skype and Facetime is great, but nothing beats it when they finally visit and stay for a week or more. When Oma and Opa arrive, the house suddenly seems a more exciting place, there are silly songs at dinner, extra help with homework and special cuddles and stories before bed. And parents love it because Oma cleans the whole house top to bottom, and Opa fixes the creak on the stairs that Dad hasn’t had a chance to get to yet.
Grandparents, we love you and we have no idea what we (or our grandkids) would do without you! Thank you for being you.
Why do you love your grandparents? Or what do your parents (or in laws) do that’s special with your kids?