6 Reasons Grandparents are Important

Those of us who are grandparents often wonder what is my role? Do my children see the importance of grandparents in the lives of their families?

Recent research shows the benefits of having a relationship with grandparents. This research also shows that our grandchildren who know where they come from and how they fit into a family (including extended family) is able to handle the stresses in life better than a child that does not.

We can be a major support during family disruptions. We are playmates for our grandkids. We become historians and story tellers. We teach values and pass on family traditions. Many times we are role models and mentors for our grandchildren.

We play an important role in the lives of our grandkids, although many times it may be indirect in nature. Much of our support is seen by the support we give to our own children. We are often the arbitrators, the watchdogs or stress buffers.

It wasn’t that long ago that we ourselves were in the role of parent so we are very aware of the stress that having small ones can be for a young family. Our ability to help out through babysitting or just bringing in a meal can be huge following a stressful day.

An increasing numbers of us care for our own grandchildren during the day or have legal full custody of them, making us surrogate parents. Those of us that do this have a particularly strong influence as full time caregivers.

I call myself – “my grandkids biggest fan” and my “children’s biggest supporter”. At least that is what I aspire to.

1. Make Difference in their Grandchildren’s Lives

Research shows that 9 out of 10 adult grandchildren still feel the influence of their grandparents values and behaviors. Of these involved grandparents more them half of them see their grandkids on a weekly basis.

2. Money Power

Currently baby boomers or grandparents are an economic powerhouse. We control an astounding 75% of the wealth in the U.S.. Much of that spending power goes to benefit our grandchildren.

Whether we spend it on gifts, child care, housing or their future college education – we have more power to help today than ever before.

3. Example of Service

This boomer generation is know for it’s generous heart – not only with our money but also with our time.

We help in our kids schools, in homeless shelters etc. We are an example of service.

4. We are Tech Savey

More than 75% of us grandparents use the internet and social media regularly. We are no longer seen as lost and confused by all those buttons.

5. We Love being Grandparents

According to an AGA survey, 72% of grandparents “think being a grandparent is the single most important and satisfying thing in their life.”

6. We Have Knowledge and Experience A Plenty

In an AGA survey grandparents feel “they can do a better job caring for their grandchildren than they did with their own.” Which is no shock for me.

Wise parents foster strong relationships between grandparents and grandchildren. Letters, phone calls, videos, audiocassettes, sharing of school work, and personal contact where possible all build bonds of love and friendship between the generations.

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