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Relationships Grandparents

Grandparents today look years younger than their counterparts of years ago. Obviously much higher standards of living plus huge rises in income have enabled grandparents to enjoy good health and a standard of living undreamt of in the 1930s.Grandparents today have the most disposable income in society. They take 'adventure' holidays, cruises and many have villas overseas.

They can afford to take several holidays a year and frequently do so. In addition they're able to buy good, fashionable clothes, visit beauty salons and hairdressers, all of which result in them looking years younger than the date on their birth certificates.Today, grandparents still have a zest for life and most have a hobby, particularly golf. They also have that other quality, a curiosity about life which, above all others, prevents them becoming old before their time.

They bear no resemblance whatsoever to the original stereotype of grandparents, in particular those grandmothers depicted wearing shawls while knitting endless pairs of socks.Despite their material circumstances, the majority of grandparents dote on their grandchildren who bring enormous pleasure and joy. Lots of grandparents refuse to retire to sunnier climes simply because they can't bear to be separated permanently from their families and grandchildren. Watching their grandchildren grow and develop gives them tremendous satisfaction and happiness which no grandparent can anticipate and therefore proves all the more rewarding.

Some people criticise today's grandparents for being too 'materialistic' which isn't true. They're lucky enough to be able to enjoy the best of both worlds and why not? They still consider the family to be all important and have worked hard to achieve the rewards they now enjoy. After all, there was precious little pleasure in life for those grandmothers of seventy years ago who'd known nothing else but drudgery and ill-health throughout their entire lives. The achievements of today's grandparents should be a cause for celebration, not criticism. There are very few families nowadays who begrudge grandparents the opportunity to enjoy themselves, particularly when so many of them have spent thousands of pounds on their children's education, thus creating higher standards of living for the next generation.Finally, whilst acknowledging that not all grandparents are able to enjoy the comfortable lifestyles of the more affluent , it should be remembered that thousands of grandparents willingly put their own lives on hold for ten to twelve years.

These are the people who help to bring up their grandchildren whose parents have full time jobs, many of them in professional capacities. You will find these older members of society at almost every school across the country, taking and collecting their grandchildren to and from lessons. You will also see them at school sports days cheering on the little ones in the sack race, the egg and spoon race, to name but a few. No school nativity play would be complete without its complement of grandparents in the audience, gazing fondly at their precious charges shyly performing as angels, Joseph and Mary, Herod or the three wise men and , of course, not forgetting the donkeys!!.Speech days are yet another occasion where proud grandparents congregate to applaud the achievements of another generation.

Another event which grandparents gladly attend is the Christmas Carol service when every child seems to mutate into a little angel with shining eyes and an air of innocence. Then there's the school play in which the children love to participate and display their acting abilities to their parents and grandparents.All these activities usually precede one of the school holidays when grandparents again come into their own.

They take the children to the park, arrange picnics, visits to the cinema, the swimming pool, the bowling alley, the gym plus playing endless card games and monopoly when the weather is bad along with a multitude of other games.This involvement with their grandchildren forges close bonds between them which often remain throughout their lives. The grandparents feel needed at a time when some of them have doubts that they any longer have anything to offer.

Quite untrue as many families admit to owing a huge debt, knowing that their children are safe and lovingly cared for in the hands of their grandparents. Far from being useless, these grandparents provide their families with a stability unlikely to be found elsewhere. They deserve huge recognition for their unselfish and tireless commitment.


Michael Russell
Your Independent guide to Relationships.

By: Michael Russell


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