Grandparents occupy a special place in the lives of their grandchildren. Since they are not usually sitting in the position of parent to their grandchildren, they can be the permissive easy-going influence in their lives. They can’t help them get away with murder, but most children learn to appreciate the less tense atmosphere at their grandparents’ house.
Most parents cringe when the word spoiled is attached to one of their children. However, it is the prerogative of grandparents to spoil them a little if the opportunity presents itself. An extra toy or piece of candy just enhances an already pleasant relationship. Since grandparents aren’t always around for most kids, what does it really hurt if they let them eat dessert first?
Being a grandparent is about building memories and passing on tradition. Most people lose their grandparents long before the ready to let them go. We need those memories to add greater value to our childhood experience.
Our grandparents lived in a generation somewhat foreign to us. Most of what we learn from their generation is unfortunately learned from history books. What a first hand treasure our grandparents are if we will take the time to hear their stories instead of rushing them to conclusion.
Grandparents will tell their grandchildren things they never had to time to share with their own children. They were too busy working and raising a family to tell stories. Now, they have time.
Some grandparents are able to tell of riding the rails in the early 20th century as a hobo or leaving town as a teen with a circus to travel across the country. Several grandparents have related their stories of riding in a wagon train. One even told of her father fighting in the Civil War. These things should not be lost.
The prerogative of grandparents is to be not just in their grandchildren’s lives, but in their grandchildren. The richness of their lives should be incorporated into the experience and knowledge of their grandchildren to be passed in turn to those who will be their great-great-grandchildren whom they may never meet.