Grandparents are your unending sources of kindness, patience and comfort. Through out their lives, they give you unconditional love and above all, they are your fierce supporters. Always!
They will never find any fault with you and defend you even if (in their hearts) they know you are wrong! According to an anonymous quote, “Grandparents/grandchildren relationships are simple. Grandparents are short on criticism and long on love.”
And above all, they have all the time in the world for you, pampering you, fulfilling your whims, replying to your queries patiently until you are satisfied, answering questions which your busy parents do not have the time to reply. Another anonymous quote beautifully sums it, “A grandparent is a little bit parent, a little bit teacher and a little bit best friend.” I call this relation ‘the grand relation’!
With each changing generation, we observe many changes in the lifestyles and social values. The fast paced-life of modern times is witnessing the slow decline of the joint family system which is slowly giving in to the nuclear family. Rising inflation, high cost of housings, plus the need to lead a life free of the intrusion of the older age group, is making the joint family style of living a thing of the past.
When grandparents and grandchildren lived under the same roof, they shared a strong bond of love and care for each other.
When parents had to go out, they often left their young ones in the care of the older generation, a task which they carried out happily. Stories where told at bedtime and this was often the most enjoyable hour in both the grandparents’ and grandchildren’s day. But sadly, with the advent of the nuclear family, this grand relation seems to suffer.
Grandparents’ love still knows no bounds. But sometimes the grandchildren fail to reciprocate their love in the same manner. It is not that they do not love their grandparents but somehow, they do not show this love. The blame for this change in attitude cannot be put entirely on the younger generation. It is basically that children today are born in a time and world that is very different from that of their grandparents’, where they interact more with electronic gadgets than they do with human beings.
After youngsters have finished with the demands of their studies, they are busy with their computers, cell phones, electronic games and unending channels on the television, thus they have hardly anytime left to spend and share with their grandparents.
Small changes in your routine can sometimes bring big (and positive) changes in your lives. By taking out a few hours every week from your busy timetable, you can spend them with your grandparents and make them feel that you care for them a much as they love you! In this way you will make them happier, because although they may not show it, grandparents are usually lonely deep down inside!
With the prime years of their life gone, they mostly lead a retired life and want activities to fill up their long hours. If you are not living with them, then a call from you or a short visit can do wonders to brighten up their day. A handmade card when they are ill or a small gift (for no particular reason) can make your bond with them stronger, something you will cherish later on in life!
And dear friends, those of you who are lucky enough to live with a grandparent, you should make sure to sit with them for a few minutes each day, greet them when you come back from school or anywhere else and always wish them a goodnight before going to bed. No medicine makes you feel better when you are sick as your grandma’s presence by your side does, your head in her lap, and her pressing your feverish forehead with her soft winkled hands and silently praying. And when the fever is down and you are at peace, you know in your heart that it was her prayers and the Holy Verses she was reading softly and blowing over you that made you well again.
Although toddlers love to be cuddled, as children grow into their preteens or teen years, they sometimes find their grandparents’ big embraces and pats on the head a bit embarrassing. It is best that you think of the pleasure it gives them when they pet or hug you, which probably others don’t do because they think you have grownup, and enjoy the feeling of love and security that it conveys. And if you really can’t put up with it, try to explain in a polite manner, that you do not feel comfortable with the hugs and that the loving pats usually spoil your hairdo, something you are very particular about. If you clarify your feelings to them, they are sure to understand.
Sometimes, some of us complain that our grandparents are naïve, old-fashioned and ill-informed, but we often under estimate the old generation. Friends, we must realise that our grandparents are not only a fountain of love and care, they also possess the wisdom and insight only experiences of life can teach us! You can get loads of information from books, television and the internet, but the experiences of life your grandparents have braved and the difficulties they have faced have given them infinite perception.
They may not know much about how to use a computer or how to avail all the options of a complex cell phone, but they can share with you the insight which can only be acquired with the passage of years. By spending more time with your grandparents, you will also get access to a great fountain of wisdom and knowledge.
So friends, before their physical presence fades into fond memories, strengthen your ties with your grandparents. You will not only feel better for brightening their days, you will also be able to see life and its problems with a new and wiser perspective!
According to Bill Cosby, “What is it about grandparents that is so lovely? I’d like to say that grandparents are God’s gifts to children. And if they can but see, hear and feel what these people have to give, they can mature at a fast rate.”