What surprises many seniors when their grandchildren begin arriving are how much love they can hold in their heart for the new arrivals. There is a bond between grandparent and grandchild that is difficult to explain to outsiders.
After all, when parents have their children, they are new to raising kids, most likely trying to earn a living, still getting used to living with their spouse, paying bills and often a mortgage, and still trying to figure out their way in life.
Grandparents have it better because they have been through all that. Now, they are on the other end of the life cycle. While they do have their own issues as they age, there is still a lack of the pressure that parents have. Seniors can enjoy their grandchildren without carrying the load moms and dads have to deal with.
Another thing that I happen to enjoy – when my grandchild is visiting and he gets to be too much to handle, I know it’s only temporary and I can send him back home in the near future.
What grandchildren do bring into the life of a senior is a breath of fresh air, an energy that the senior may no longer remember, and an ability to see a different side of life – through the eyes of an innocent child.
Being a grandparent
The cool thing about being a grandparent is that you end up doing things with them that you wouldn’t dream of doing otherwise. There are places I’ve gone and activities I gotten involved with that I never did with my children. As mentioned before, there is less pressure on grandparents to enjoy the youngest generation that wasn’t there when we were young adults.
Open up your mind to the possibility of all you can do with your grandchild. While Mom and Dad are busy working, you can teach them to fish or play ball, build Lego towers and PlayDoh creations. By the time we reach our senior years we have learned that it is okay to color outside the box – what a concept! We didn’t know that yet when we were in our twenties and thirties.
- Dare to go where you’ve never gone before into their magical world
- Open up your mind to new adventures
- Relax and have fun
- Laugh out loud – a lot
- Stay up late
- Watch cartoons, crazy movies, and educational TV
- Makes lots of noise
- Eat midnight snacks with your grandchild while sitting in the middle of your bed
- Break all the good-parenting rules (while keeping kids safe, of course)
- Go ahead! Dare to be young again!
I’ve done all the above including having contests to see who can build the highest tower with Lego blocks. We always aim for the ceiling and if the tower falls and blocks go all over the room – we laugh! Never do we get upset over the mess that we made.
After all, picking up the blocks is a form of exercise! Right?
Of course you still need to set certain boundaries and honor the rules of their home, but you can also think, play, and have fun outside the box. Grandparent and grandchild is a special bond that no one can break – and who would want to. Well, maybe a jealous parent who wishes he or she could spontaneously take the day off work and join in the fun!