Cultures the world over celebrate, on 28 July, those special people who put so much into the upbringing of our children, grandparents.
When we close our eyes and think about our childhood, almost inevitably some scene or memory comes to mind in our grandparent’s house: maybe our favourite meal prepared by Granny, or perhaps a toy that Grandad helped us to put together. Grandparents have a crucial role in children’s lives, and ever more so these days with parents increasingly spending more time at work. They also tend to have not only more free time but more patience, having seen and done it all before, on multiple occasions!
Of course, along with their extra patience, Grandparents are not afraid to indulge their grandchildren every now and then, not feeling quite so much pressure as parents feel to make their children behave in a certain way. This is a constant thorny issue for many Mums and Dads, who complain that Granny & Grandad are “spoiling” their children, but it is all part of the process of the circle of life, and in the end contributes to the children having fond memories of their grandparents. As for as grandparents themselves are concerned, there are many health benefits to having contact with their grandchildren, as well as making them more open minded. Benefits for children, meanwhile, include the wisdom and teachings their elderly storytellers are able to pass on.
According to “The Grandparents Book”, by Aratangy & Posternak, this is the century of Grandparents. In England, approximately half of the population has grandchildren, a quarter of which are the children’s main carers, spending on average six hours a week in parents’ places. In Brazil, it’s still relatively common to find large families, with grandparents, grandchildren and very often great-grandchildren, with everyone making the effort to keep in touch and maintain strong family relationships.
All in all, there is nothing more appropriate than saying a great big ‘thankyou’ to the world’s grandparents and taking the time to make them feel special on this day of all days. If you happen to live far from yours, then now is the time to pick up the phone for a brief chat, or if perhaps yours have already passed away, then take a moment to reflect and send some positive vibrations upwards and outwards to yours and the world’s special golden oldies.