Grandchildren and their grandparents have a very special relationship. In addition to the love, support, and companionship grandparents offer, they also act as sources of education and authority and as important role models. While grandchildren learn many things from their grandparents, these are fifteen things they should absolutely take away from their parents’ parents.
Often, grandparents are the holders of a family’s story. They knew people a child’s parents didn’t and have lived in a different time than a child’s parents. While kids learn about world history in school, there is no better place to learn about family history than from a loving grandparent.
Some grandparents served in World War II while others immigrated to the U.S. from other countries. Some grandparents worked in factories or underwent times of extreme hardship. Stories about these periods can have a formative effect on kids. When grandparents tell their grandchildren stories about what it was like to grow up in a different time and place, children enjoy an expanded sense of life and learn valuable lessons they can carry into adulthood with them.
Grandparents and grandchildren have a different relationship than parents and children. Because grandparents are one step removed from a child, children may be more willing to listen to them about important issues and may be more watchful of the way a grandparent lives his or her life.
In light of these things, grandparents can be fantastic sources of humility for children. When grandchildren see their grandparents being gracious, humble, graceful, and willing, they learn to carry these lessons into their life, thus becoming well-rounded and polite young adults.
Because grandparents grew up in a time that their grandchildren didn’t, they often know certain skills – like cursive handwriting or sewing – that their grandchildren would be hard-pressed to learn anywhere else. As education continues to change at a breakneck speed, it’s important that kids learn disappearing skills from their grandparents.
Some examples of these skills include being thrifty, making things from scratch, fixing items, or doing things like training animals or tending to livestock. These skills can help a child build character that will serve him or her well throughout life.
Most children grow up knowing the refrain “respect your elders” but grandparents are the people who ultimately teach these lessons. As children grow, they move through various phases that can lead them to be sarcastic and snippy with everyone, the elderly included. With grandparents, however, children are more likely to learn what it means to be respectful and deferential to older adults. This can help them learn to listen and be respectful to everyone they meet down the road.
It’s not uncommon for children to treat their grandparents like trusted confidants. If a child makes a mistake, a grandparent is often one of the first people they’ll tell. In this particular relationship, grandparents can help children learn what it means to receive and give unconditional love. From grandparents, children learn that they can make a mistake and still be lovable, worthy, and good. This, in turn, helps kids learn how to display unconditional love to their friends, parents, and – eventually – to their families.
Whether it was the Great Depression or a hardscrabble farm life, many grandparents grew up in times of great hardship and difficulty. Despite this, most grandparents have lived lives of dignity and love. This sense of resilience is amazingly important for kids to learn.
By watching their grandparents cope with difficulty, kids can learn to deal with adversity in their lives, which can help them manage stress more effectively and learn to get back up after a fall. This, in turn, will help kids keep going when things get tough.
Few people are more devoted to kids than their grandparents. Grandparents love their grandchildren and see them as capable, intelligent, good young people that can do anything they set their minds to. When grandparents love their grandchildren this way, grandchildren eventually learn to believe in their capabilities, which can help them achieve their dreams down the road and believe in themselves enough to chase big goals and stay strong in times of hardship.
Discipline is a hugely important life lesson that many children have a difficult time learning. From learning why it’s not acceptable to do a certain thing to learning how to stay on track with projects and build an internal work ethic, discipline is one thing that plays a huge part in determining who a child grows up to be.
Fortunately, grandparents are some of the best sources of discipline for their grandchildren. By doing simple things like helping their grandchildren with homework and demonstrating what it means to work hard and get the job done well, grandparents can help their grandchildren understand the value of discipline and employ it in their lives.
Empathy is one of the foundations of emotional intelligence, and it’s one thing that kids absolutely have to learn if they are to grow up into compassionate and confident adults. Because grandparents have a different life perspective than parents, they’re often capable of helping kids see things from a different point of view. By helping children learn what it means to step into another person’s shoes and see life from their perspective, grandparents can help their grandchildren grow into empathetic and compassionate individuals that know how to do good for others throughout their lives.
Studies have found that gratitude is one of the best ways to build a happy, healthy life and grandparents are some of the best people to teach children the value of being thankful. By helping children do simple things like keep a gratitude journal or volunteer for an important cause, grandparents can help their grandchildren appreciate the things that they have that others may not. From saying a simple “thank you” to the waitress at the restaurant to giving food to the homeless, grandparents can be a hugely influential factor when it comes to teaching children to appreciate the small things in life.
How to unplug
With few exceptions, grandparents grew up in a much less plugged-in world than their grandchildren. Because of this, grandparents can help children learn how to take breaks from technology and tune into the world around them. From doing simple things like going on walks to helping their grandchildren learn to play board games and write pen-and-paper letters, grandparents are a valuable source of unplugged life lessons that can help kids learn to be less tech-dependent down the road.
Everyone matters and grandparents are often valuable teachers when it comes time to teach kids how to admire and respect others. Grandparents can have a tremendous impact on children when they talk with them about what it means to be respectful and kind to everyone they meet – from grocery store clerks to strangers on the sidewalk. Plus, when grandparents model this behavior in their lives, it becomes that much more profound and influential for their grandchildren.
As important as humility, respect, and kindness are, children also need to learn to set boundaries and stand up for themselves. By helping children understand their value and self-worth, grandparents can help kids get a feel for what it means to set boundaries without being cruel, aggressive, or dismissive of others. This can help children learn how to care for themselves and learn to say “no” as adults.
Honesty is something that many children struggle with at one point or another. Fortunately, grandparents can help children understand the value of honesty by demonstrating a model of openness and honesty. This helps children learn why it’s important to tell the truth, even when there are repercussions to doing so. It can also help kids learn to keep their word and avoid making promises they can’t fulfill.
The importance of family
There’s nothing as important as family – whether that family is a set of cousins, grandparents, aunts, and uncles, or a group of close, lifelong friends. Grandparents are some of the first people to help kids learn this lesson, and it’s one that kids will carry with them throughout their lives.
Grandparents are an important force in their grandchildren’s lives, and these fifteen lessons are some of the most pivotal things kids take away from their parents’ parents. In addition to helping them learn to live a better life, grandparents can also help their grandchildren learn important things like love, respect, honesty, and kindness.