Story and Why
Tom Gilbert - Copyright © October 11, 2019
If I knew they would be so great
I would have had them first!
Being a parent is a wonderful yet very challenging thing. Many parents
would agree it is both the hardest and best experience in all of life.
I do not disagree.
Seeing your kids grow up and eventually become parents themselves
brings about another special thing: grandchildren!
When families have multiple generations involved in the raising of
children it brings great perspectives to life. Life story experiences, support and
additional helping hands are just a few of the benefits.
Many of today's grandparents are living longer and they have more time
to contribute to their grandchildren's lives. The babyboomer wave
includes the incredible amount of grandparents who are now in their
golden years and eager to help their children while enjoying their
I know this is true in my own life. I greatly enjoy the time I get to
spend with my grandson (9) and granddaughter (7). My wife and I are
actively involved in their lives and so very grateful to be living near
Their is a special responsibility as grandparents to be supportive,
helpful while not overstepping our place in their lives. Parents need
to be the ones who have the bond that shows both nurturing and
encouragement while also holding their kids accountable. We should all
want our children to be safe. So if there is any danger from any family
member it is the right of others to step in. However in healthy
families the grandparents should be the elders who let the parents
learn and grow from the big job of parenting.
Perhaps it is natural in life that as we age we learn and grow in life.
And as a result we have more to offer the next generations. Of course
it's not easy and as obvious to make the best choices. Life always has
challenges that take great patience, insight and love to steer us
Nevertheless, let us celebrate our grandparenting. We are needed now
more than ever (see this article from grandmagazine.com).
Look for places of support and inspiration for sharing your love and
your life stories with your grandchildren, such as I'm
A Story, a site that encourages you to write and share your
experiences, especially between grandparents and grandchildre,
something that co-creator Rolland Love regularly encourages through his
talks and writing.
Talk of a Lifetime has lots of
great ideas, too, like their Grandkids Activity Guide.
If the points I've made in this article are not enough to inspire you
to have more grandparent involvement, check out this article about the
health benefits of Having (and Being) Grandparents
You can read other life story articles here.