Good Relationships Pay Dividends for Grandchildren and Grandparents

 Do you have grandchildren? Are you actively involved with them? Do you know how critical and important a good relationship is not only for them but you?

Grandchildren Are a Great Joy for Any Grandparent

I believe you will agree your grandchildren are one of the greatest joys in your life. You look forward to the time you spend with them, the fun things you do and the love you have for each other.

If you’re like me, you just like the thought of being able to send them home to their parents at the end of your time with them. Their parents deal with the sugar highs they have from all the candy and sweets you gave them. Their parents have to correct them for the other ways you spoiled them.

A good relationship with grandchildren is much deeper than just having good times with them. A grandparent has the opportunity to help them at critical times in their lives, listen to them when they are hurting, support them and help them grow into the people they are meant to be.

How Has the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Shooting Affected Your Grandchildren?

A great example is how a grandparent can minimize the impact the shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida on Valentine’s Day has had on children of all ages. There has been a continuous stream of reports about the shooting on the news regularly. Across the country, everyone has become concerned about school safety.

Students, especially younger ones, are not likely to express the concerns they may have for their own safety. Yet many are wondering if they will be safe at school.  They may not open up to their parents or anyone else about this.

A grandparent has the ability to talk to them about the shooting in ways that others may not be able to.

Younger children may have misconceptions about what happened. They may worry about going to school. They are frightened there may be a shooting there and they may be shot. This is the perfect time for a grandparent to talk to them about it. They can listen to them and find out their concerns. They can explain to them the steps being taken at their school to protect them.

Frequently teenagers feel like no one listens to them. They all know which students in their classes are dealing with mental and emotional issues. Grandparents can take the time to talk to them about this. They can work with them to form a plan to alert school administrators about these students and make sure they get the help they need.

Our Youth Are Facing Other Challenges Today

Today’s youth are facing many other challenges regularly. Grandparents can spend quality time with their grandchildren and help them get through each of these.

  • More and more often young people are being abducted. Amber alerts are issued. Every time there is one, our hearts go out for the child and their family.
  • Bullying seems to be far more common today than in the past. Most kids don’t know how to deal with it and don’t open up when it happens.
  • There are regular reports about the severe drug problem. Kids are starting to use drugs at younger ages.  In almost every high school drugs are very easy to get. By the time they finish high school many teenagers are addicted.
  • On Facebook, Twitter and other Social Media, high school students frequently put down students they don’t like. Once these comments are posted, they are very difficult to remove. The victimized students frequently don’t open up about how much they have been hurt.
  • Teens are suffering higher levels of anxiety and depression than before. Years ago, we rarely heard of young people taking their own lives. Now suicide threats are more common and we see children and teens following through on this.
  • Here in Tennessee we’re in the midst of an Opioid epidemic. Now our police carry Narcan in their cars. They give it to those people who have overdosed on drugs to save their lives.
  • The Teen pregnancy rate is high. Unprepared teens suddenly have to become parents and miss out on experiencing the rest of their teenage years.
  • While divorces are tragic for both the husband and the wife, many times children experience the worst damage. Many are traumatized by the divorce
  • More children are being raised in single family homes than ever before. In these the parent, typically the mom, has to work two jobs to support the family. The parent does not have much time to spend with the children.
  • Blended families are common. Prior to coming together, each parent raised his or her children differently. When they come together, there are clashes because of the different rules. In blended families, it is also common for one or more of children to be lost and feel overlooked.

How Do Your Grandchildren and You Benefit from a Good Relationship?

When grandparents have a strong bond with each of their grandchildren, they can help them work through any of these problems which may arise. They can listen to them and help them get any other help they need to resolve them.

In the process,

  • each grandchild will have a greater level of self esteem.
  • They also will have a greater sense of belonging.
  • They will be better equipped to face any issues they encounter.
  • It’s less likely they will be anxious or depressed.
  • They will be more prepared for life

Grandchildren are not the only ones who benefit from these relationships. Grandparents also benefit too.

  • While spending time with their grandchildren, they are exposed to new ideas and continue to learn.
  • The have the opportunity relive the happier times in their past when telling their grandchildren about them.
  • Spending time with their grandchildren keeps them mentally sharp.
  • They are more active.
  • They are less likely to be lonely.
  • They suffer less bouts of anxiety and depression
  • They are not only healthier, they live longer.

If you have a good relationship with your grandchild or grandchildren right now, you are probably experiencing all of these benefits.

If your relationship with your grandchild or grandchildren is not as good, it’s never too late to change that. Reach out and connect with them. They’re probably anxious to hear from you. Both you and they will start to benefit from being closer.