Importance of grandparents in nuclear families

Grandparents are a strong foundation to a family. In the past, grandparents were an integral part of the family. I remember growing up with my grandparents, their unconditional love & affection, their comforting touch & care at times I was ill and the way they would indulge & pamper me at all times. At the same time  they would correct me when I were wrong in the most gentle manner and reason it. Grandparents play a important role in raising a child :

  • They provide a strong foundation to the family. They keep the family together and give children a sense of belonging.
  • They are the keepers of traditions and keep a child in touch with their roots and can instill best of values.
  • A child gets extra attention from grandparents. They can be a child’s best friend and confidante. They are definitely the best story tellers.
  • They can be the most reliable baby-sitters & caregivers.

Number of nuclear families are now increasing and thus role of grandparents has been limited, as couples are now moving away for work, for privacy, more space or simply when they can’t get along.

At the same time raising a child in a family with grand-parents was certainly less burdensome on the parents. However parents want little interference from the grandparents in raising a child, similarly grandparents don’t want to be tied down with babysitting children. So there needs to be a balanced approach to the issue and here are a few tips.


A few tips for grandparents:

  • Never criticize parents in front of the children, it makes them feel insecure & confused
  • Do not over-indulge children, remember it might just mess up him up as a person in the coming times
  • Respect parent’s decision, do not interfere in the way they want to raise the child
  • Never criticize or compare among your grandchildren, as it creates ill will and jealousy among them
  • Be clear to your children how available you are to babysit, you have a life too. Be firm and stand by it and don’t give into emotional blackmail

Tips for parents:

  • Be clear on what you expect and lay down rules for your child for food habits, study time, etc
  • Provide help. Remember your parents are growing old and do not have the energy to deal with young children so hire a help whom they can supervise
  • Do not take your parents for granted. Your parents have a life too and they can’t be babysitting round the clock
  • Be flexible and ignore little things you don’t agree with to avoid unnecessary bickering
  • Do not argue with your parents in front of the child, or the child will neither respect you nor his grandparents

 

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