Grandparents are wise, experienced and enrich our lives through their stories and unconditional love.
According to clinical psychologist Tanuka Gupta, when talking about grandparents we often refer to them as the roots of the family. She said: “They act as stress buffers and have a strong protective functioning. They don’t judge their grandchildren and are able to offer complete acceptance.”
While Gupta admits that there is not a lot of research that discusses the negative impact of not spending time with a grandparent on a child, children and young adults who don’t spend time with their elders miss out on many enriching experiences that come with conversations and interactions.
“The more warm interactions and opportunities you have with family members, the better you are equipped to deal with things. If a child is in need of a caregiver, I often find one’s grandparents a much better option as compared to a nanny. They are more suitable playmates.”
In a report published by the news agency Reuters, children who spend more time with their grandparents, have fewer misconceptions about ageing and the elderly. It helps them learn about life and interact with other older people. “For a more compassionate outlook to life, spending time with grandparents makes children more tolerant, positive and patient.”
Gupta added that children who are close to their grandparents but lose them early feel a void, but this gets better with time. However, the older one gets the more likely are we to seek and need their emotional support, especially for decision making.
“Children don’t understand the importance of their elders and often take them for granted. They think it is a part of life. They might not know their grandparents well because they are enjoying the relationship, and the need to know them is not there. However, when they grow up as young adults, it is time to give back, with mindfulness.”
She added that life comes a full circle and we will get old too. To enjoy a good psychological and spiritual experience, giving back to your grandparents in terms of your time and effort is a very important task.