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Grandparent-edge


Role of grandparents

Source: Google images

What is the role of a grand parent today?

I have been a grand parent since 2007. Our first grandson arrived that year. Two years later our secondgrand son arrived. Both were born in Mumbai in a hospital close to our home. So I started my role as a grandparent from the day they were born.

Both my wife & I played distinct and different roles as grand parents. She was a big help to my daughter in doing many things for the babies. I played a limited role in the early days. I used to get up early, so did our grandsons. So my daughter would hand over the baby to me. She would get a couple of hours of rest.

I used to play with the kids, sing songs and so on. When the kids grew older I used to take them around the colony. Today they are much older – one is 7 and another is 5. And they live in far away in the US.

They know many things I don’t know. Their interests are different. This could be the moment I could lose the ‘connect’ with them. This is where we can lose ourselves in the generation gap. It may not even occur to the children that such a gap is likely to occur. I realise that it is for me to do something to bridge the gap.

So what do I do?

It occurs to me that if I want to bridge the gap, I need to think about it from their angle and not mine. I need to think about them – what they love, what they talk about, what they think, what they say, what they see and what they hear. What are some of things they don’t like? What are they afraid of? What would they like to do? Like to get? Where would they want to go? What would they like to learn about? What is their favourite game, TV show, fictional character?

That is only half the job. What do I do with all this information?

I need to understand my own strengths and preferences. For example: I am good at painting and drawing. How do I use this to connect to my grand children? I could paint their favourite movie characters on T Shirts. To make it even more engaging, I could ask them to choose the picture. Perhaps ask them to assist me when I am painting the picture on the T Shirt.

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Sridhar Ramanathan is the Founder of IDEASRS, where he is also a Strategic Innovation Coach. Sridhar’s mission in life is “to help those who want to do things better and differently”. His work involves conducting creative problem solving workshops for clients, and buidling competencies in creativity and innovation. He also blogs at www.ideasrs.com.


2 thoughts on “Grandparent-edge

  1. Kritika Srinivasan

    Lovely post Sridhar! I have seen a few grandparents around me and what you say rings so true! Children develop close bonds with those grandparents who invest time and try to engage with them on different levels – interests, intellect, emotional, conversations. For kids of today, giving them treats to eat and pampering them with toys does not really work anymore – they demand attention, love and an interest in them.

    In many ways, what you say holds true for parents as well. We can connect better with our kids if we take an interest in what actually happens in their lives rather than simply running their schedules, instructing them, and being task-oriented. But what sets grandparents apart is that they do all this with endless patience, limitless understanding and unconditional love. Little wonder then that grandparents are the go-to people for most children, especially when they want to complain about their parents! :)

    Reply
  2. Parameswaran

    Hi Sridhar Paramu here. Why I am giving my name is the e mail will not be revealed. As you know I am a grandparent of a 4 month old grandson it is nice to read about what you have written it is kind of you to share your experience. I will,start working on it.

    Reply

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