Family Relationships

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Monday, April 05, 2010

Grandmothers and Spring Break

With my grandsons visiting last week during spring break, we planned some of the usual fun things we like to do together. Their parents took several days away on their own so we got a chance to enjoy the boys alone - shooting baskets at the park, cooking, bowling, playing piano duets, swimming, going on day trips, and, of course, lots of hugging. During one of those day trips in the car - to a rural farm where we all picked strawberries - I also spent some time talking with them about values that are important to me. Afterwards, I wondered why I felt the need to teach them as well as have fun with them.
Grandma's memories

I realized that I wanted to pass on to them some nuggets of wisdom I had gathered over the years as well as help them develop into good citizens. In a sense, I needed to pass on to them my survival strategies, ethics and social morality. Not so different from the situation in other cultures in which grandmothers are the guardians of traditional values, the possessors of indigenous knowledge and the storytellers of family history.

Research indicates that grandmothers - particularly those in developing countries - help grandchildren survive and thrive into adulthood. This is known as the Grandmother effect. In most societies, grandmothers provide at least some financial aid to their grandchildren as well as helping their children with domestic chores and childcare assistance. The U. S. Census Bureau has been tracking the numbers of grandparents caring for their grandkids - today there are upwards of 1.5 million working grandparents who are also supervising the younger generation.
Grandmother and granddaughter

In recent years, there has been a Granny boom due to the increased life expectancy and quality of life among seniors. With these increased numbers, the role of grandmothers will likely take on even greater importance in the rearing of children in years to come. With everything else changing so rapidly, the stability that a grandmother can provide can be just the anchor a child needs.

Want to pass on to your grandchildren some suggestions for developing courage? Simply join our email list and you can download a copy of our ebook, Courage and Lessons Learned.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

As my six year old Grandson was entering security at the airport he put down his carry-on took out his wallet and placed two dollars into a money container for Food for the Hungry. I was impressed both with his generosity as well as his reading.Same little guy showed great courage earlier in the week when he came running up to his Mother and said; "do whatever you want to me, I broke a window." Grandsons are wonderful!

6:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So are granddaughters! I remember how much I used to love being allowed to bake with my grandmother - blueberry pies were her specialty. Now I get to enjoy baking with my granddaughter. Her mom is so busy with work that she doesn't have much time to do anything more than get dinner on the table for her family during the week. I have more free time now so we have fun together in the kitchen after school.

10:32 PM  

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