The Importance of GrandparentsEmily McClements
I shared last week that my father recently passed away, and besides the fact that I will miss him like crazy, one of the things that makes me the most sad is knowing that my kids won’t be able to have a relationship with him as they grow up.
When I ask my kids what they will miss about Papa, one of the things they say the most is that they will miss him swinging them, because he never missed an opportunity to push them outside on the swings, either on the swing set he helped my husband build at our house, or the swings he set up especially for them at his house.
My kids loved to swing with their Papa. And that was one of his special ways of bonding with them.
My dad really was an amazing man, with so many gifts and talents, and so much wisdom to share. And while I can pass things on to my kids that my dad taught me, it’s definitely not the same thing as it coming directly from him.
I really want my kids to develop strong bonds with their grandparents. I think it’s really important for kids to have close and loving relationships with their grandparents, because they can add a richness and depth to my kids’ lives that my husband and I can’t provide for them on our own.
I am so grateful for the way that both my parents, and my in-laws, want to be involved in our children’s lives. I know that’s not something that is true in every family. For me, I grew up with loving grandparents, but they always seemed distant. They weren’t really actively involved in my life on a regular basis. So when we had kids, my husband and I both agreed that we wanted our parents to be involved with our kids as much as possible.
I want my kids to learn from their grandparents. They have amazing stories, and so much life experience and history to share. I want them to play with their grandparents; I love watching them read books, make puzzles, or play games together.
I want my kids to be loved by their grandparents, to experience unconditional love from someone other than their parents in a way that’s not affected by the grind of daily life, and I want them to love their grandparents in return.
But most of all, I want them to really know their grandparents, and for their grandparents to know them, because that’s how true and lasting bonds are formed. And while I grieve the loss of that knowing, that relationship, that my kids will never get to experience with my dad, I am thankful that they still have two grandmas and a grandpa to share their lives with for, hopefully, many, many more years to come.