grandparentsWhen I was little, I saw my grandparents every Sunday. They pushed me on the swings, fed me lollies, and slipped pound notes into my pockets when my parents weren't looking. They were very special to me, and I didn't think we could be closer. Today however, many grandparents tend to play a far greater, and more exclusive, role in their grandchildren's lives. Weekly visits have been replaced by whole days due to the pressures of working parents and scarce or expensive childcare. And nowadays, grandparents and grandchildren often have their own relationships that don’t even involve parents. For many grandparents, the responsibility of caring for their grandchildren while their children work can be tiring and a big commitment at a time in their lives when retirement should bring a more relaxed pace. However, it can also be a wonderful relationship that can be as rewarding for the kids as well as the grandparents. Grandparents can be great role models for our kids, can give them things to aspire to, and help them to reach their goals. Who better to mentor our kids than those who know them well, have been around the traps, and who want our kids to be happy and successful? In addition, grandparents are in the unique position of being able to teach our kids their family history, to pass on family stories and to offer our kids a knowledge and love of their heritage and culture. Grandparents can help to secure our kids' sense of belonging and identity. They can be the link between our kids and something greater, the things that make them who they are, and the answers to their questions. And for grandparents, there is great comfort in facilitating those connections and securing those ties. It doesn't take a lot to cement those trans-generational bonds, but they are critical to our kids' well-being, their growth and their sense of security. So if there are some willing and able grandparents in your family, I encourage you to get them involved in your kids lives. Oh, and make sure they don't forget about the lollies.

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