Grandparents are a great influence on any grandchild. They are a significant factor in what a child or adolescent learns during his/her formative years. So, it is important to understand their role and the things that we can do for them.
What grandparents give
1 Cultural roots: Interactions with grandparents are a significant source of knowledge on our cultural roots. Talking to them makes you gain an insight into your culture.
2 Unconditional affection: Grandparents do not want anything in return for the love and affection they shower on grandchildren which could be weighed in monetary or material terms. They give love and support regardless of what and how one is with them. This is one of the most important lessons to learn from them.
3 Emotional security: Grandparents are the bedrock of emotional security of their grandchildren. They provide a strong sense of security by their very presence.
4 Values: Values are passed on from one generation to another. With the paucity of time among modern-day parents, grandparents can act as a fount of values and belief systems. Through stories and their experiences, they are able to pass knowledge to and instil values and beliefs in their grandchildren.
5 Facilitate communication with parents: Grandparents help facilitate communication between parents and children. They, through their continuous interaction and presence, can act as a bond and mediator between parents and their children.
What teens should give
1 Time: Give your grandparents time. Spend a little amount of valuable time with them in which you are able to talk about things and build on good experiences together.
2 Respect: One of the most basic values that all of us need to inculcate is respect. If we expect respect, then we also should learn to give it. Respect your elders, particularly your grandparents.
3 Learn from their experience: Talk to them and listen to their experiences. Be willing to learn from what they say.
4 Have fun times together: Spend fun-filled moments with granny and grandpa. This would help forge a good bond between you and your grandparents.
5 Care and affection: Give your grandparents a lot of care and affection. They also need the love and affection of their near and dear ones.
The author is a psychiatrist, and chief, Department of Mental Health and Behavioural Sciences, Max Healthcare