The Importance of Grandparents

I was lucky to have known 3 of my 4 grandparents as well as one great-grandmother. My great-grandmother, Nanny, lived until I was 13 years old. My paternal grandmother and maternal grandfather passed away when I was 15 years old. My maternal grandmother attended my wedding and lived until I was 30 years old. The relationships I had with all were special in their own ways and allowed me to see the importance of extended family from past generations.

My daughters also know 3 of their 4 grandparents, all of whom play important roles in their lives. Some of the benefits of these relationships are:

1) Grandparents are seen as good listeners and someone who can act as a go-between if in a disagreement with parents. The adolescent years are often times of higher conflict between teens and their parents and grandparents can offer great support during these times.

2) Grandparents share family history and traditions. I love watching my mom and daughter cook together at the holidays. My older daughter shares her love for Broadway shows with her paternal grandmother and they have seen 5 shows together in the past year.

3) Grandparents tend to spoil their grandkids, not only with gifts, but with affection and
undivided attention.

4) Relationships with grandparents help teens learn to have respect for their elders and
help out when they can. Showing how you can handle your conflicts with your own
parents you are modeling compromise for your teen.

5) You can help foster more independent contact between your teen and your parent
by helping your parents become technologically savvy, or, better yet, have your teen
do the job. Watching my 13-year-old daughter teach my mom how to navigate her
iPhone and text has been priceless!

Important Notice: The information presented above is provided for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for consulting a psychologist or other mental health professional to discuss your unique situation.