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It’s a sad fact that we all grow older, and our grandchildren are no exception (though we wish they would stay little forever). As is expected, with each age and stage comes different attitudes and needs, which can sometimes leave us grandmas feeling unneeded and underappreciated.
Fear not, Grandma – I am here to remind you that, even though your relationship may look different than it once did, your grandkids still need you in these 13 essential ways (and more):
1. Source of Unconditional Love
When the world feels too big and confusing, there’s no comfort quite like the unconditional love of a grandparent. Grandchildren need to know that there is a place, and a person, where they are accepted and loved for exactly who they are. That’s the beauty of a grandma’s love: It’s a constant in an ever-changing world.
2. Wealth of Wisdom
Grandma, you’ve seen it all! You have the wisdom of a life lived fully, and your grandchild NEEDS your life lessons, the stories you tell, and the advice you offer. You’ve been where they are, and your experiences can guide them through their own trials and tribulations.
3. Perspective on Parents
Let’s face it, the parent-child dynamic can get a bit complicated, especially during teenage years. But who knows your children better than you do? You provide a unique perspective on your grandchildren’s parents and can help them understand why mom or dad said or did something that they find hard to comprehend.
4. Family History and Roots
In a world that’s always rushing forward, it’s easy for kids to forget where they come from. As grandma, you are the living link to their family history, keeping alive the stories and traditions that may otherwise be forgotten. Knowing their roots can give grandchildren a sense of belonging and identity.
5. Unhurried Time
You know how to slow down and enjoy the moment, dear grandma. In the busy routine of life, the unhurried, quality time you offer is a treasure. Whether it’s baking cookies, doing a puzzle together, or just talking about their day, the time spent with you can be a welcome respite from the rushed pace of their lives.
6. Stability During Tough Times
Life can throw curveballs, and when it does, it’s reassuring for grandchildren to have a constant source of support. You, my friend, are a beacon of stability when their world is spinning. You’ve weathered life’s storms before and can guide them through their own.
7. Celebration of Achievements
To you, every drawing is a masterpiece, and every school grade is an achievement worth celebrating. This appreciation and encouragement can do wonders for your grandchild’s self-esteem and confidence!
8. Patient Listener
Sometimes, all your grandchild needs is someone to listen to them. No judgments, no advice, just a patient, understanding ear. And who better than their grandma, who always has time and patience to lend?
9. Safe Space for Expression
Grandchildren might hesitate to share some things with their parents out of fear of judgment or punishment. You provide a safe space where they can express themselves freely, making you a critical source of emotional support.
10. Secret Keeper
Being a confidante is another crucial role that grandmas play. Whether it’s a secret crush or a little mischief they’re planning, knowing they have someone trustworthy to share their secrets with is essential for grandchildren.
11. Model of Aging Gracefully
Grandma, you demonstrate to your grandkids that aging is not something to be feared but embraced. Your resilience, wisdom, and spirit are living lessons that growing older is a beautiful part of life.
12. Bridge Between Generations
You help your grandkids understand the generational gap and bridge it, whether it’s explaining why certain traditions are essential or helping them appreciate the older generations’ perspectives. (Isn’t that a wonderful position to have?!)
13. Unfiltered Enjoyment
At Grandma’s house, things are different. For example, the rules can be bent a bit, and you always have an extra cookie or a surprise treat to share. This freedom and fun are something your grandchildren look forward to, adding joy to their lives.
Even as your grandkids grow older and more independent, remember that your role is not diminishing. You’re not just a grandparent; you’re a mentor, a friend, a confidant, a pillar of support, and a beacon of unconditional love. Your grandkids need you, and I hope this is a reminder of that!