Aunique aspect of our ­culture is that we’re typically brought up not just by our parents but our grandparents as well. Grandparents add an enriching dimension to our upbringing, making us more aware of our cultural heritage and strengthening our value systems. Grandparents have showered us with unconditional love and affection; so it is also your responsibility to look after your grandparents, and reciprocate their care and affection.
1 Imbibe values from your grandparents: We learn our values and imbibe ideologies not from our parents, but rather from our grandparents. Talk to them about their experiences in life and learn about your cultural roots from them.
2 Family is your most permanent support system: Your family is going to be the most consistent ­support system through your life. Even if your parents are caught up with work and other ­responsibilities, you can always count on your ­grandparents to be there for you when you need them.
3 Refrain from ­stereotypical thoughts: There is no such thing as a generation gap, it’s a gap in communication. Break away from stereotypical thoughts of what grandparents must think and feel like, and get to know them better.
4 Take care of them: Small efforts can go a long way in making them comfortable. Take up some responsibilities for their care, be it ensuring that they’re taking their ­medicines on time, or helping them get acquainted with newer technologies.
5 Share your day-to-day experiences: Talk to your grandparents about your day-to-day experiences. Introduce your friends to your grandparents. Make them a part of your life.
6 Ask for guidance: Your grandparents have a tremendous wealth of experience. If you need answers about handling life, relationships, ask your grandparents for guidance.
7 Have fun with them: Family time needn’t be synonymous with ‘serious’ or ‘boring’. Spend some fun times with your grandparents; do mutually enjoyable activities together, even if it’s watching a film or going for a walk together.
8 Maintain respect: It’s a great idea to be friendly with your family, but at the same time, always treat your grandparents with the respect and dignity that they deserve.
The author is director, mental health and behavioural sciences, Fortis Healthcare