I think it’s about time grandparents were recognised and had “their day”, don’t you agree? Where would we be without grandparents? I know if it wasn’t for my mother my childcare experience would have been very different when my girls were small. My nephews love it when grandma visits, and grandma loves having her grandchildren around her too. I was adamant that there would be no nursery until the girls could talk (that’s the Caribbean in me coming out) so mum was the official childminder.
Grandparents have so much value, not just in terms of childcare, but what they offer in terms of life education, (nothing to do with a school syllabus), their own life experiences bring richness to our children’s lives. Happy grandparents day.
Grandparents often step in to raise their grandchildren when parents are absent or unable to care for them or even when childcare is just too costly. Raising a second generation can be both rewarding and challenging. You’re giving your grandkids a feeling of security, developing a deeper relationship, and keeping the family together. These wonderful Grandparents pick up the slack. They fight for custody, they change the nappies, bathe and feed and clothe the children. They take them to school and help with their homework. Many times the grandparent is the only parent a child will ever know.
Grandparents can reduce stress.
Playmates! For kids, having grandparents around means having the perfect companions to play with and have fun. Grandparents are some of the best partners when it comes to using creativity and imagination to discover the wonders of life. And in turn, most grandparents truly love their role.
Grandparents can share their vast experience.
They are a valuable resource for all of their stories and experiences. Many times grandchildren will listen to grandparents even when they are not listening to their parents or other adults. They also offer a beautiful link to a child’s cultural heritage and family history. Children understand more of who they are and where they come from through their connection with their grandparents.
The benefits of children spending time with Grandparents:
Someone who offers unconditional love
A mentor who can help with problems
Companionship and someone to talk to
Someone who will stand beside them
A window into their parent’s childhood
A sense of adventure
Kindness, humour, and patience
A zest for life
The ability to laugh at oneself
Grandparents Share Caribbean Culture
In Caribbean culture, historically a child’s relationship with their maternal grandmother is very close. Caribbean grandparents, whenever possible, provide wonderful strength and a foundation for their grandchildren.When children live with their grandmother, they often refer to her as “Mama” or “Big Mama” whether or not their own mother is present. She may well function in place of the mother, but the more usual relationship has been described by R.T. Smith:
There is a normal grandchild-grandparent relationship which is one of affectionate
indulgence, and a kind of equality. A grandmother, in particular, will
often identify herself with her grandchildren and take their part in quarrels
they have with their own mother. It is commonly said that grandparents spoil
their grandchildren, and old men certainly display far greater affection for their
grandchildren than they ever do towards their own children.
For me the importance of Morggan, Kamarane and my nephews having a strong with relationship with their grandmother goes without saying. My mother left Barbados with my dad when they were quite young, my elder sister was just 2 years old so she didn’t really have the relationship she wanted with her grandparents. I spent many a school holiday in Barbados and it was a love/hate thing as I didn’t realise at the time just how blessed I was to have the farm experience in all that sunshine, visit the beach each morning take in the fresh food, etc and spend time with my mother’s parents.