Grandparents & Children
We are often not around them 24/7 so have more patience. We make time to listen to them, play with them, share knowledge, teach them, spoil them, are non-judgmental, and we have a different kind of relationship than we had with our own children. Grandparents can and do play a big role. Unfortunately not all of our own children feel like that and let us. Most do thankfully, but I have recently become a volunteer on the help line of the Grandparents Association and I am horrified at what I hear. So many phone calls, and it seems that a lot of children become pawns within a breakdown of a relationship, be it between parents and child, or between partners. Most children have fun and love their parents and grandparents, even if they think we are old and wrinkly! They do not seem to notice or care and to be separated from either is cruel. I know from my own experience. Some statistics say - 60% of families in the UK alone will have some form of breakdown at some time. That’s millions of families here in the UK and around the world. Far too many. Let’s stop making our children pawns. Stop and think please, because they are often the innocent victims which can have repercussions in later life.
Unfortunately, as grandparents, we will not be around for eternity but we love having you in our lives and we enjoy every minute of you all. We are proud of you whether you are a few months old or a teenager - you are our pride and joy and keep us happy.
For many years I have been estranged from my daughter and grandaughter but I have two other grandchildren whom I also adore. One is only a few months old but my grandson is 4 and I see them as often as I can. We play, we laugh, we cuddle, we have secrets, and I baby sit when I can, which makes that our special time. One thing I do sometimes which is fun and costs very little. At Easter or if I go over and take sweets, instead of just giving them to him, I hide them in the garden, under plants, behind bushes, and he loves it. Silly, but enjoyable. Why not try it next time you see your grandchild. It will put a smile on their face at whatever age.
The Grandparents Association can be contacted on 0845 434 9585
Sheila Steptoe is the author of the best selling book, ‘Before I Get Old and Wrinkly!’ It is written in two parts to help others. The first part is a letter to her children. To anyone who has not read her book, part of it was about the struggle she had with her daughter over a few years and the climax of a horrendous separation from her granddaughter, which as she says "broke my heart".