Whenever I see children with their grandparents, I feel guilty and sad that my children never get to experience the love and comfort of their grandparents. My parents died before I had my two children – Dave and Jam – who are now both 9 and 7 years old. They passed away in a somewhat traumatic way as they were killed both in a car accident on their way to vacation to spend their wedding anniversary. So this was also hard for me. I am an only child, and after that incident, I went to live with my mother’s sister who raised me and stood as my second mother. But Aunt Julie died due to cancer when I was seven months pregnant with Dave. My husband is Greek, and his parents are already very old and living overseas. With my life story, my children never had the chance to spend their time with a grandparent. How can I introduce them and let them be aware that they had loving grandparents?
Some of us go this stage in life where a parent or both parents are already gone by the time they start their own family. Grandparents are no longer around to be with their grandchildren. For some families and cultures, the presence of a grandparent in the life of a growing child is significant. They serve as a buffer between the parents and the children. Also, they contribute to the growth and development of the child.
It is believed that a grandparent has a different level of love towards their grandchildren. Parents who were used to be strict with their children will soon become more lovable and be accommodating to their future grandchildren. If parents before were hard to convince when asked for something, by the time they become a grandparent, they either spoil or allow everything that their grandchildren want to do. Their children are somehow baffled by the sudden change of behavior of their parents. The grumpy old man is now soft-spoken and sweet to their grandchild. Psychology dictates that the senior years bring realizations of the past experiences and a chance to make amends for what was believed to be a wrongful act or behavior. For grandparents, this is their manner of redemption and their way of showing affection to their grandchildren.
Perhaps, this is why the mother in the narrative was so downcast that her children never got to experience living and sharing their lives with their grandparents. Even with the presence of older adults around this family, a blood-related grandparent is much more suitable and capable of providing these emotions.
It is an excellent decision to introduce the children to their grandparents even if they are not around anymore. The lives of their grandparents complete their own lives at present, and a little story about them will surely make them appreciate their own lives at the moment.
Suggested Methods To Keep Memories Alive
Show Them Photographs Depicting Their Everyday Life And Their Favorite Activities. Some children will be surprised that they share the same affinity towards a sport, food, music, art, or hobby. In this manner, even if they have not seen their grandparents, a sense of belongingness is established, and a connection with their grandparents is created. George was five years old when we started to talk about his grandpop who was a painter. He was seven years old when he saw my dad’s old sketchbook and drawings in an old notebook. He immediately had this aha moment and exclaimed, “So, that’s where I got my artistic talents!”. My heart was full upon hearing this. It was very touching and I shed a tear.
Place A Framed Photo In The Family Den Or A Place Where Other Family Photos Are Displayed. It’s not enough that they are shown old pictures of their grandparents and then keep them hidden in a drawer afterward. When you present a framed photograph of grandparents, children will keep in mind about them, and this is a passive memory making strategy to help them be aware of their grandparents.
Name Your Child After Your Parents. If you are amenable, you can either name your child or make a second name in memory of your deceased parents. By the time they grow up, they will get to know the meaning behind their name and why they are called as such.
It is indeed unfortunate that some children have not been given the chance to be with their grandparents, especially if the grandparents were loving, kind and understanding. There is no easy way to replicate this. Nonetheless, telling your children about their beautiful memories and continuing to share the same love, kindness and understanding with them can help live a life remembering and loving their grandparents.