Unless a grandparent has died or there has been some kind of estrangement within the family, it’s important for children to be able to be in contact with them. There are many reasons why grandparents are such important figures in a child’s life – we take a look at some of them in this blog post. 

Photo by Alena Darmel

They Make A Difference

When a grandparent is involved in a child’s life, it makes a big difference to the child (and to the child’s parents to some extent). A report has said that over half of all grandparents in the United States are able to see their grandchildren at least once a week (that could be in person or via a video screen), and almost all of them have changed a grandchild’s diaper in the past. This is an important bond and shouldn’t be broken. 

Many adults look back and think of their grandparents fondly and say that they definitely have a positive influence in their lives. A grandparent is someone to turn to if the relationship between children and parents becomes difficult, for example, and they are also another link to family, which can be extremely important. 

They Are A Link To The Past

As we get older, many of us find that we are more and more interested in finding out about our pasts and looking into our family trees. With grandparents around to help us, we can find out a lot more than we would if we had to search online or look through old newspaper cuttings at the local library. It’s not just our own past we can find out about either; grandparents are able to tell us about how we used to live and what happened – this is living history. 

For children, this can be extremely important as it gives them a much better understanding of how things used to be and gives them a much better appreciation for their lives now. 

Help Through A Divorce

Grandparents can be the one place a child can turn to when their parents are getting a collaborative divorce, and that makes them extremely important. Divorce is hard on everyone, and it can be a confusing, unsettling time. If there is a stable, mature family member – such as a grandmother or grandfather – who can be there when times are tough, that can help in very many ways, keeping the child as happy as possible and enabling them to continue their lives with as little disruption as can be. 

Grandparents Make ‘Old’ Less Scary 

The idea of growing older is a worrying concept for many, and for some, it is absolutely terrifying. Children are particularly nervous about this idea, and this can manifest when they are around older people – they become unsure, nervous, and even scared. If they have a good relationship with their grandparents, however, they will know how to speak to older people, and they will be more at ease in these situations. This bridging of the generation gap is essential if children are to be able to communicate with everything they come across, and ‘practicing’ with their grandparents is a great way to start. 

Good grandparents will also be able to show children that ‘older’ doesn’t mean that they are (necessarily) unable to do the things they used to do or that they enjoy life any less. This can be a big comfort to little ones who might worry about such things.