Families and Societies and the Role Given to Grandparents

Grandparents should be valued in their proper dimension for the importance they have in the family, whether they are funny, rigid, authoritarian, tender, permissive, accomplices, or eternal storytellers.

The Woman Post | María Consuelo Caicedo Toro

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If there is a noun that can identify grandparents, it is the word "source" because they are a source of devotion to their grandchildren, unconditional love, and affection. Those who have had them in their lives know that the relationship of grandchildren with their grandparents is usually marked by complicity, fun, stories, anecdotes, comfort, games, laughter, hugs, and delicious meals.

The arms of the grandparents welcome and protect and their hands caress with infinite love. Their eyes look tenderly, they understand and forgive mischief, and they are forgiving of the mistakes of their children's children.

In other times the image of the white-headed grandfather, sitting in front of the fireplace with the newspaper in his hand and a distant appearance, or the image of the grandmother looking over her glasses at her grandchildren waiting for the mischief to call them the attention while knitting a pullover, has been exceeded. Today, the relationship of children and adolescents with their grandparents is translated into closeness, trust, complicity, and open expressions of affection.

Greater Prominence

Undoubtedly, the increase in family dysfunction, which implies women alone at the head of the household, fulfilling the role of providers, has given a more important role to grandparents, many of whom have overcome the old image of game supervisors of the children in the park or those responsible for making the tastiest strawberry cake of all, to adopt roles of greater weight in the academic development of children and adolescents and in the formation of their personality.

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This implies that millions of children and adolescents spend much more time with their grandparents than with their parents and also indicates that these young generations would be marked by the experiences and knowledge of life that people who triple not only in age but in memory, understanding of life, awareness of the world, values, and experience.

In that order of things, many older people stop feeling sorry for themselves over the years and understand that the influence of the calendar is an opportunity to transmit what they have learned to others. That is why many grandparents are physically and mentally active to give life to their lives and time for company and support for their grandchildren.

Grandparents and Parents in the Boxing Ring

When grandparents take on the routine of caring for their grandchildren, there are often fights with their parents over differences that have to do with parenting. Older people often believe that they are carriers of the truth and impose their criteria above what the child's parents think. This is when conflicts arise.

To prevent this from happening, it is pertinent to set guidelines and not confront them in front of children or adolescents. A valid suggestion for parents by psychologists specializing in family relationships is that mom and dad affectionately approach their own fathers and mothers, to tell them that it is best if they let them act with their own criteria and point out that if they need they will ask for help and advice.

Hugs and Wise-Words

Grandparents are veterans of the war of life and their experiences are ideal tools to resolve various situations with the children of the family.

Grandparents are an image of tradition and experience and we must give them their fair weight at home. There is nothing more pleasant than the hug of the grandfather and the wise and disinterested words of her or the company of the grandmother while doing homework. Grandparents must be valued in their proper dimension for the importance they have in the family, whether they are funny, rigid, authoritarian, tender, permissive, complicit, eternal storytellers, or if they show all the conditions indicated. Many of them contribute to the stability of the home by providing emotional and financial support to their children and grandchildren.

The Woman post recognizes the leading role of older adults in today's societies and, for that reason, congratulates them on the well-deserved recognition that is given to them through the celebration of International Grandparent's Day.

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