Royce Shook

3 years ago · 2 min. reading time · visibility 0 ·

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Things Grandparents Know

My generation seems obsessed with perpetual youth. But we are also people of passion. From the moment my generation arrived, we seemed to be bringing a mission and a different vision for society than had existed before. This sense of knowledge and of vision accounts for the incredible drive we have shown throughout our adult lives which have resulted in changes to society so profound that life in America today only faintly resembles how we lived in the 50s and 60s.

Each era of life has brought its own challenges.  As parents, we were committed to having a different kind of relationship with our children. We were more hands-on, participatory and interactive with children in a much greater way than generations before. In a very real way, we as parents sought to be both parent and best friends to our children. The outcome has not always been positive but you do see a sense of family unity and emulation of parents in our children that is even more committed than the family model of the past because we viewed parenting as a mission and job one of our lives when we chose to have children.

As we move out of the parenting role, at least in terms of having youngsters at home, we have an opportunity to define in our own terms what it means to be a grandparent. Becoming grandma and grandpa may be a bit difficult for a generation that has always fought the coming of aging and resisted even adulthood much less old age. But if we embrace the concept of being the "kindly and wise" grandparent and filling that role in the lives of our children and grandchildren, we can have an influence on another generation beyond them to pass along their insights and guidance in ways that only grandparents can do.

Children see grandma and grandpa in a different light. Naturally, they love them and love the opportunity to visit their grandparents if for no other reason than grandma always has something for them to do, that they may not have the opportunity to do at home. But sitting on granddads knee and hearing his stories or just enjoying his love and teasing is part of growing up that children cherish long into their adult years. And it is a time that we can embrace and thoroughly enjoy.

There was a great book out not long ago named “If I knew being a grandparent was this much fun, I would have done it first.” This amusing concept reflects that the joy of being grandpa and grandma to your children’s children is fulfilling in ways that even surpass the important role baby boomers had as parents. Children listen to their grandparents because they are wise not because they are old and it gives them a sense of security to see that it’s possible to go through life successfully and still be full of life and fun. That is why children intuitively know that there are things grandparents know that they want to learn and they cherish the lessons they are taught by a revered elder.

It’s good when we embrace this new role. Just as when we embraced parenthood, we threw themselves into the challenge with a passion that changed the definition of parenting for the better. So too, we can bring their passion, our sense of deep commitment and their love of family to the role of a grandparent and give their grandchildren the gift of a wonderful grandma and grandpa who not only always had love and fun for them but also always seemed to know the right answer.

Look to your time with your grandkids as a time to pass along the wisdom that 50-70 years of life has given you. While children need the guidance and knowledge of their parents, the role of teacher, disciplinarian and rules maker sometimes clouds the parent relationship. That is why grandchildren are open to hearing what grandma or grandpa has to say because the relationship is more clear cut and they see their grandparents as fountains of wisdom always given in love.


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Royce Shook

3 years ago #2

Thank you, Geoff and Renoy. I love being a grandparent as do all my friends, we enjoy the time we spend with our grandchildren as it helps keep us young and full of the love of life

Geoff Hudson-Searle

3 years ago #1

A truly lovely buzz Royce Shook I talk with experience when I say grandparents and their grandchildren, who share a bonding that is so unique and unmatched, is potentially the most valuable life experience a child can have. I talk from experience. The significance that they have is irreplaceable and the love that they give is incomparable. Moreover, apart from being a source of unconditional affection, grandparents pass on to us lessons for life, that they have gained from their long life journey. Those are the things that can be given by none, as their advice and lessons are as exclusive as they are.

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