WHAT CHILDREN LEARN FROM THEIR GRANDPARENTS

Grandparents are special people. They make their grandchildren feel special.

Grandparents tell you stories. Stories of their life, of another era and of years gone by. Stories are fun. They teach us history, humour and empathy (you can add to this list).We learn to listen, attend, imagine, empathize and express our feelings.

This one is truly inspired by my grandmother. My first thoughts to do with my grandparents are my holidays as a child and the ‘grand’ home – the gate of that home; the smell of the home, the furniture;the eager eyes that awaited us every vacation; the very tight hug, that wet peck on our cheeks, which we so hated as kids (me and my brother); the meal that awaited us, very meticulously prepared by my grandmother with her delicate hands..Actually her heart!

The comforts of that home were far from my own home (my parent’s home) where I grew up. Yet we loved our trips to the “grand home”. People were important, feelings and choices were important and every child was special (there were other grand children in the house too).The word “fuss” didn’t exist in the dictionary of the grandparents; it was treated as every child’s choice, and each one was attended to with the same affect. So the question of a tantrum did not arise. Attention, patience, listening ears and endearing presence were in abundance.

My grandparents belonged to another era altogether. My grand mom would knit, sew and stitch, do the crochet, cook, clean, serve untiringly, unendingly day after day, happily, and be ready to do more,always.

I wonder if she would have done all that, if she had a mobile phone to occupy her. Actually, I think she still would have crafted lovelier crochet and knit awesome woolies, with designs from the internet.

We would jokingly ask her, “If we were to wake you up in the middle of the night and ask for something to eat, would you still make it for us?” “Off course, I would”, she would say. We thought that was just so funny. Little kids had crazy questions. Perfect replies, and just what we wanted to hear, followed our craziness!

Ironically, like other great treasures of life, the golden parents do not last us a lifetime. We probably wouldn’t need to pay for listening ears, if they lived till we did. Counsellors would not exist, in that case.

Yet they do leave the most lasting memories and impressions of warmth, care, commitment and selflessness. Their stories and songs never forgotten!

Fortunately for me, my golden grand continues to be that undefined support. Adding to my strengths each day, as she loses hers by the minute, keeping the child in me, the granddaughter alive!

After all, Isn’t good parenting also about keeping the child within you alive!

Rohini Sethi                                                                                                                                           Child Development Consultant                                                                                 https://in.linkedin.com/in/rohini-sethi-32715247