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The Important role of grandparents in the family

To be a grandparent is to go back into the world of early parenthood without the boring role of disciplining and imposing limits. This allows for a beautiful complicity and a privileged relationship between grandparents and their grandchildren. 

Love

Grandparents, not unlike parents, usually have unconditional love for their children. The development of this emotional bond can be done from the first moments of a baby's life. New parents are usually very tired from all the new parenting tasks they take on. Grandparents, when available, are a great help to the young family. In addition to providing support to parents, they are an inexhaustible source of hugs and kisses for the baby. These expressions of tenderness deepen and intensify the affective relationship between the grandparents and the child. Moreover, it is proven that children who are lucky enough to enjoy this affection will develop more self-confidence because they will feel loved and valued by significant people other than their parents[1].

Educate

Grandparents can also support parents in their role as educators for their children. Since they are generally more available, they consequently have a slower and calmer pace to help teach children things. Therefore, in addition to playing an emotional role with their grandchildren, they can influence their education. Through playing or activities of daily life, they will create opportunities to help little ones learn a great many things. It is not a question of replacing the parents, but of supporting and completing them. The grandparents challenge here is to be careful not to judge the parents education and try to make it their own in order to avoid being in conflict with them. Everyone needs to focus on keeping their role and everyone will be just fine and dandy in a loving family

Stabilize

With the growing number of broken families or single-parent families, grandparents play an even more important role for their grandchildren. They need more than ever to feel that they belong and have safe place they can relate to. The grandparents represent that anchor point, a kind of stability in a sometimes-chaotic family environment. For instance in a family where the father is absent, the grandfather can offer a reassuring and balanced male image for a child.

Guardian of memories

In addition, it is often the grandparents who have the family photos, sometimes also the family home full of memories and stories. If it is sometimes difficult for parents to share some stories with their children because of the importance to preserve the parent-child relationship, grandparents on the other hand always have very true and constructive (and sometimes embarrassing) stories to tell their grandchildren.

Spoil (a little)

Finally, the role of grandparents is also defined by the fact that they have the right to pamper and spoil their little ones as they see fit ... or almost! With them, it's always party time! They get gifts, have the right to eat sweets, to sleep a little later, to watch TV longer, to jump on the couch, in short, have special permissions they do not normally get with dad and mom.

In conclusion, cherish your grandchildren and grandparents because it is a unique and crucial relationship.

[1] Relationships with grandparents and the emotional well‐being of late adolescent and young adult grandchildren

SA Ruiz, M Silverstein - Journal of Social Issues, 2007 - Wiley Online Library