Few FAQs about Grandparenting
What part does an elderly person play as a Grandparent in today’s world?
Today, in most of the families in India, both the parents are employed due to economic necessity or due to the desire and willingness to work. So the children need someone to look after them when the parents are not around. But that is not all. The elders should take on the role of an active grandparent, and not only give the grandchildren love and affection but also instil in them a sense of responsibility, moral values and teach them to face the world and its realities.
What can one do to overcome the generation gap between the grandparents and grandchildren?
While it is true that elders should correct the youngsters when they are wrong, what happens invariably is that older people tend to keep on preaching. They must realise that today’s lifestyle is far removed from theirs and they should accept that. They should give more independence to both their children and the grandchildren. This way the youngsters will come to respect and love them. They should not expect affection on demand, they should earn it!
When grandparents feel that their own children do not know what is right for the grandchildren, can they interfere?
This is a mistaken presumption of elders, comparing the present times with their own. As far as possible they should not interfere in the way in which the grandchildren are being brought up. Their role should be only that of an advisor when advice is sought. Infact in most families it is the grandparent who become the mediator between the parents and the children.
What happens when the Grandchildren live far away?
In today’s world, Indians have spread out far and wide and this has created a huge physical distance between the grandparent and the grandchild. But they can always keep in touch by telephone or by writing letters. In this context, e-mail is the greatest link. Elders need not own a computer. There are internet (computer) centres all over India. It is quite easy to learn basic computing and e-mail. providing much needed self-assurance that their near and dear are only a few clicks away.
What else can an elderly person do to have a happy relationship with the grandchild?
If they stay away from where their grandchildren live, they could invite them over as often as it permits. Very young children are entertained easily by games, tasty bites and old stories. Older children take pride in imparting knowledge about the world wide web to the elders. Film music and Television programmes are also great equalizers.
A small gift once in a while which need not be expensive goes a long way in expressing what words cannot. Elders should take care not to bore the youngsters with their health problems. All this does not mean that they should never be strict. But a good relationship invariably makes the elders earn the respect of the youngsters. So when an advice is given it is taken with sincerity.
Is there any specific role for the grandparent to play in the running of the family?
A daughter who becomes pregnant, a grandchild who becomes sick, happy moments in the grandchildren’s life are all times when the grandparents should be around.
Ceremonial rites and festive occasions in India are never complete without the grandfathers and grandmothers, whose guidance is needed. In India, we all still believe that the heart-felt blessings of elders go a long way in helping the grandchildren achieve what they want in life.
In many families, grandparents take over the role of parents all over again by looking after the grandchildren, taking them to school and attending to all their needs. Most often, this creates a good rapport between the grandparent and the grandchild as long as the elders don’t mind it.
Source : http://www.seniorindian.com/grandparenting.htm