Grandparents are very important in children’s lives, even more so for the special needs child. Because people are living longer, more people have grandparents now, and studies are showing all the good that involved in, caring for, what the open-minded grandparents offer their children and grandchildren. Grandparents are good for grandkids if they understand their place and don’t try to replace the parents or spoil the kids in the wrong way.
Grandparents Have Influence
Most adult children who were lucky enough to have grandparents involved in their lives appreciate it, and are thankful they had that opportunity. They often quote the things their grandparents taught them and instilled in them. It’s not unusual hearing adults say that their most admired person in their life is a grandparent.
The amazing thing is that without being pushy, grandparents are very much responsible for instilling values into their grandkids. This is true even when parents do things a little differently.
Grandparents Reduce Parental Stress
Grandparents who work hard to allow their kids to be the type of parents they want to be, offering support only when needed and asked, which tends to reduce parental stress a lot. Having a non-verbal, autistic six-year-old grandson, I know firsthand how important it is to offer a break for parents who have to deal with the special needs of a child. If you can offer help or a break without judgement you will never know the stress you will relieve. If as a grandparent you can only offer a listening ear or money to help with paying a caregiver, that is enough to reduce the parents’ stress.
Grandparents Are Great Teachers
Due to the long life full of experiences a grandparent has lived, they make great teachers. As people age, they tend to get more patient with kids than they were when they were young, and can explain concepts better because of it.
Grandparents Make Kids Feel Secure
Children often worry about losing their own parents but since they know the grandparents were their parent’s parents, they feel safer just knowing they are there. And often kids think their parents know everything (depending upon the age), so obviously the grandparents know even more. This helps children feel secure.
Grandparents Offer Affordable Childcare Options
In some cases, a grandparent is a wonderfully affordable childcare option. This is something that must be considered on a case-by-case basis, though. Even if grandma or grandpa don’t want to be a babysitters, they can offer help financially so that their special needs child can have more opportunities. If you’re a grandparent who lives close and wants to be more involved, let your child know because often they won’t ask.
Children need grandparents very much. If you’re a grandparent, understand that your role may be different than you thought it would be, but if you keep an open mind and an open heart, it will be amazing and wonderful.