Grandparents inspire their grandchildren through many stories and experiences from their own lives. Oftentimes children will listen to grandparents even when they are not listening to their parents. Grandparents also offer a link to a child’s cultural heritage and family history. Children understand more of who they are and where they come from through grandparents.
Especially during tough times, having an extra layer of support can make a big difference in a child’s life. Close grandparent-grandchild relationships during the teenage years are associated with less behavioral and emotional problems and fewer social difficulties with peers. Grandparents offer an extra ear when kids need someone to talk to, because sometimes children just find it easier to open up and share their difficulties and problems with their grandparents. As a member of the family, the love that grandparents feel for their grandchildren is especially strong, amplified by the love they bear for their own children. The relationship is one of blood and history, and grandparents are part of the formation and maintenance of the traditions that define a family. They possess memories that later generations can understand only through stories, and insights into culture and heritage that serve as a legacy for children and grandchildren alike.
Relationship with a grandparent can help a grandchild understand the significance of his or her past and put stories to members of the family tree that might otherwise have been only names or yellowed photographs. The positive influence that grandparents can have on their grandchildren’s development is profound.
By offering love and guidance, imparting wisdom, passing on traditions, and making memories, grandparents can leave behind a legacy that their grandchildren will value for the rest of their lives.