Grandfathers can have a powerful influence on their grandchildren by teaching about perseverance, loyalty, hard work, patience, and sacrifice from their many life stories. Although grandmothers can also teach these things grandfathers teaches from a masculine perspective. Grandfathers have lived through wars, hard times, cultural changes, and technological revolutions and may tell their stories in a lively, engaging way that allows the story to do the teaching. For those grandfathers who may not feel they have much to tell from their own life experiences, sharing simple stories about how they grew up and lessons they learned in life can help grandchildren to recognize and appreciate the generations who have gone before them, as well as develop new values. While stories may cause grandchildren to think about personal values, a grandfather's actions are important too. Grandchildren are observers, and they can learn powerful, lasting lessons from watching a grandfather go through life with a sense of humor, dignity, and generosity.
Unfortunately, most children, especially children where their biological father is absent and/or unknown, have no relationship with their grandfather from their paternal or maternal side of the family. Far too many children are raised in households where it is an exclusive female dominated household. Although socially accepted by social, church, and media standards, I feel the absence of a grandfather leaves a social void in a child’s spirit. Grandfathers are living links between the generations; they help grandchildren become acquainted with extended family members, either in person or through photographs and stories. In today's world, schooling and jobs frequently separate families geographically, leading many grandchildren to lose their sense of connection to a common family support network. Grandchildren frequently want to know and learn about their family heritage, to have a sense of connection to the past, and to understand their unique place in their family's history. Grandfathers can help bring their grandchildren and extended family together so that the younger generations have opportunities to see and hear how different ages relate positively to one another.
Grandfathers have a vitally important role to play, and today's grandfathers are stepping up to the plate and fulfilling it. Connecting with grandchildren is the first step to achieving a satisfying grandfather-grandchild relationship. Ideas for connecting to grandchildren include: Call or e-mail your grandchildren today just to say hello. Learn more about computers and the Internet together with your grandchildren. However, the best thing a grandparent can do to ensure a quality relationship with their grandchildren is to show respect for their grandchildren's parents. Avoid offering unsolicited advice. Get along with the parents even if you have to swallow your pride.
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