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What Is a Grandparent's Role?

June 04, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 148

Are there different roles for grandparents for each family unit within the basic family structure? The type of role each grandparent plays depends on many things, some which you will have no control over.

In most cases those who see their grandchildren regularly generally have good relationships with their own children. That tends to be the basis for a successful grandparent/grandchild relationship. However, for some even in this category, they may not see their grandchildren as often as they would like. Perhaps there is some tension with a daughter or son-in-law, there may be issues between your child and his/her spouse which may affect the relationship you have with your grandchild/ren. You may have a closer relationship with your daughter's children than with your son's. Or perhaps location is a factor - availability may be determined based on the fact of whether they are within a radius of a few blocks or are an hour drive away. And how often you see them may have more to do with time constraints rather than with the relationship itself.

For most hands-on grandparents who see their grandchildren on a regular basis, they don't have to do big things with them; they can cuddle, read to them, bake cookies, sing together or do a craft, share a silly moment, make time for them and especially let them know how important they are to you. In the process there will be wonderful memories for both of you about the good times you have shared.

The other type are those grandparents who try to stay close by long distance. This is more prevalent now than it once was. We are a more mobile society now because of the necessity of going where the jobs are, where the other spouse's family lives, etc. In most cases, it doesn't have any bearing on the relationship with your child. Being a long distant grandparent is a little more difficult and there may need to be more creativity. It will be equally important to let them know how much you love them by phoning regularly, sending cards 'just because', or e-mailing if they are older, sending small inexpensive surprises and making an effort to get together when possible. Especially for special occasions like birthdays.

For those who are raising their grandchildren, the role will be entirely different. It will tend to be more like the parenting role with the day-to-day worries and responsibilities that parents face. Even though there is daily contact, the children have already lost something - their parents - so they will need even more love. It will be necessary not only to be a parent to these children but they will still need the love of a grandparent as well.

And for those who have been denied access to their grandchildren, it is a loss for both them and the grandchild. Grandparents play an important role in the life of grandchildren. These children lose out on much that a grandparent can offer - non-judgemental attention, undivided attention, a sense of family, security and extra love. No one, and especially children, can ever have too much love. Grandparents can also help children feel safe and right with their world. For the child's sake, and your own, never give up on seeing that child. Perhaps continue to get gifts for birthdays and Christmas to keep for them because eventually they will become adults and it may not be too late to develop a relationship at that time. This will be especially true if they know that you have had them in your thoughts all the time. Or open a bank account for them and deposit money regularly that can go towards their post-secondary education.

Being a grandparent can bring a lot of joy. The bond between a grandparent and a grandchild is like no other. I am fortunate that I have been able to be a hands-on grandparent and have close relationships with all of my grandchildren. I consider myself to be very lucky as is anyone who is actively involved in the lives of their grandchildren.

Sylvia Behnish has written numerous articles relating to family issues, motivational topics, entertaining, travel and brain injuries. For more information on any of these topics, go to her site listed below. She has recently published her first non-fiction book entitled "Rollercoaster Ride With Brain Injury (For Loved Ones)" and her first fiction novel entitled "His Sins", a three generation family saga.

Either of the above books can be ordered by e-mail at the following blog:

http://www.sbehnish.blogspot.com

Source: EzineArticles
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