Do You Need Grandparents, To Successfully Raise Your Family?
This article is added to Stories My Nana Tells because we are a blended family and Grandparents are a topic of much discussion here. We are extremely fortunate because Lesley Dewar’s parents were still alive, and well, into their 90’s when this story was written. Lesley is a Nana and her own grandmother, Ivy Nancarrow lived well into her 90’s, too.
Robbie (also known as Growly Granddad) was husband, father and step-father, and so grandfather and step-grandfather to many children in his life.
We would love to share your stories about Grandparents and your family.
Grandparents and step-grandparents influence their grandchildren both directly and indirectly. Direct influences come from face-to-face interaction, and indirect influences are realized through a third party. Consider the phrase, “It’s important to be there for your grandchildren.” Being there is a concept that can mean physically being present (direct) or emotionally being present (indirect).
When you make phone calls, attend concerts together or take them places, you are directly influencing your grandchildren. When your grandchildren have been confronted with a situation and think about you, knowing you will be available to support them and that you’re on their side, you are indirectly influencing them by emotionally being there. You are a role model to your grandchildren.
- * Stress buffer
- * Watchdog
- * Arbitrator
- * Roots/family historian
- * Supporter
One national survey of grandparents reported that a variety of activities were engaged in with grandchildren such as:
- * Joking and kidding
- * Giving money
- * Talking about growing up
- * Giving advice
- * Discussing problems
- * Going to church/synagogue
- * Providing discipline
- * Taking a day trip
- * Teaching a skill or game
- * Watching TV together
- * Talking about parent/child disagreements
Several writers have emphasized that grandparents are very important to grandchildren. They are described as “significant others who have a great deal to do with one’s view of life.” The intergenerational contact reflects a high value for family connection. Grandchildren exposed to such contact are less fearful of old age and the elderly. They feel more connected to their families.
A North Dakota study found that step-grandchildren tend to have less contact with their step-grandparents and consider this relationship less important than grandchildren do with grandparents. However, the children surveyed also indicated a desire for more contact with step-grandparents. Being a step-grandparent can be more challenging than being a grandparent because the role is less clear. As more stepfamilies are formed, more attention will be given to step-grandparenting, and the same influences or benefits found for grandparents will no doubt be found to be as important for step-grandparents.
Another popular article for discussion is one about Grandparents being friends with their Grandchildren on Facebook – you can read it here Should You Be Your Grandchildren’s Friend On Facebook?