Grandparenting, Part 1: National Grandparents Day
The primacy of parent-child relationships is reflected in the plethora of books and research on the subject. Even in the popular media, it is rare to have a television show, for instance, emphasizing the grandparent-child relationship. Of course, it stands to reason that parents and children are focused on to the extent they are. On the other hand, the exclusivity of the focus takes away from other relationships that can be very significant in their own right. Grandparent-child relationships are one example of this. In the Family Anatomy show being released tomorrow, Dr. Brian and I discuss the importance of grandparent-child relationships. This is very timely as yesterday was National Grandparents Day. To commemorate this date and the importance of grandparents in our lives, we have decided to post articles about grandparents all week on familyanatomy.com. Parents receive a great deal of attention leading up to the birth of their baby. And so they should. It is a magical experience that can bring you in touch with your true spiritual and natural being. However, it is important to remind parents to look over their shoulder to the soon to be grandparents. This is an important stage of life that is reflected in the everyday experience of grandparenthood.
Grandparents provide regular childcare to up to 38% of their grandchildren. This is a significant investment in time and energy. Typically, the experience enriches both parties while also providing kids with a connection to their past. For parents, it can be wonderful to view the multi-generational connection their kids and their own parents establish.
While one might assume that grandkids go to their grandparents for the attention or gifts they receive, research shows that the number one reason grandkids seek out their elders is for emotional support. Grandparents are uniquely placed to provide advice and support given that they typically don't feel responsible for instilling discipline.
Being a grandparent comes with both joy and stress. Family Anatomy will be discussing this and looking more closely at the research into these very important relationships over the coming week. Stay tuned.
P.S. Just in case you forgot - Wish the grandparents in your life a Happy Grandparent Day!
Note: Posts on Family Anatomy are for education only. If you need to talk to someone about family or mental health issues, you can get a referral from your family doctor.