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Good things take time, and your relationship with your grandkids is no exception. While things are pretty seamless and natural when they are young, you may find your relationship changes the older they get. Is this a bad thing? Not necessarily – it is just a part of life. Though you might get discouraged sometimes, you never want to give up on building and nurturing your relationship.
It may take some time and work, but investing in your grands is always worth it, and here is why:
1. You will forever be their safe harbor
Adolescence and early adulthood can be tumultuous (I remember those days – don’t you?), and Grandmas like you often serve as the anchor, providing stability, understanding, and a listening ear when the world seems too confusing.
2. Life lessons beyond the classroom
While parents often handle day-to-day tasks and discipline, grandparents can share life’s broader lessons – those gleaned from decades of experience – that no school can offer. Potty training and singing Beatles songs are vital when they are young, but you can offer even more important advice the older they get.
3. Memory bank guardians
You hold the stories of your parents’ childhood, family traditions dating back to the Old World, and your roots and heritage. By investing time in sharing these tales, you give them a sense of continuity and history and ensure that these stories will continue to live on for generations to come.
4. Unfiltered love and acceptance
As with every human in history, your grandkids will grow and test boundaries and need someone who offers love without conditions. Having seen life’s bigger picture, Grandmas tend to provide love free from daily pressures. (And what a gift that is to bestow on someone!)
5. Passing down values
The world today moves quickly, and the traditional values and norms we grew up with are no more. Grandparents can be the torchbearers of timeless values, offering a guiding light and instilling seemingly “old-school” ethics.
6. Reinforcing resilience
Your tales of perseverance, of facing life’s challenges and coming out stronger, serve as inspiration. Even better? You have war stories and anecdotes from the Great Depression to pass down from your folks! It’s a testament to your grandkids that they, too, can face adversities head-on.
7. Celebrating the simple joys
In our grandkids’ fast-paced lives, the joy of slow living, enjoying a sunset, or baking together can get lost. You, my fellow Devoted Grandma, can reintroduce them to these pleasures, reminding them of life’s simple delights and that it’s okay to take things slow occasionally.
8. Secure attachment = confidence
Research shows that kids with strong bonds to grandparents have higher self-esteem and confidence. Who knew?! Your constant presence, support, and encouragement can be their wind beneath the wings, so keep being there for them and building on your relationship!
Remember, just like it was with your kids (and when you were a kid!), there might be silences, and there might be distances, but with consistent effort, patience, and boundless love, the relationship can evolve into a deeper, richer bond. Please keep doing what you are already doing, my friends!