When I look around in the neighborhood, I find so many senior citizens strolling with infants/kids in arms, pram or kiddy bicycles. It’s a new role, that of grand parenting! When I see these grandparents, I sigh and say to myself – ‘Be prepared! There’s no retirement or rest in life. You have to graduate from parenting to grand parenting. There’s no stopping! If I think that I am over with running after a toddler with food in hand, I am wrong. There’s a second inning too! I quit job when my child was born, planning to resume when he starts walking. When he started walking I found myself running after him all day, with hardly any time left to run to the office. Still didn’t loose hope of joining, once he goes to the school. When schooling began, I found myself learning adjectives and fractions and continents and all that I had comfortably forgotten. Finally I have given up the any hope of joining anywhere till he marries and settles down. All the busy grandparents around me have shattered this little dream too! I now suggest my young unmarried friends to marry early, so that they are physically and mentally strong enough for grand parenting, after going through all the exercises of parenting! Grand parenting is not just about storytelling. It’s a double role – grand parenting and parenting!
Flowing with the time
The modern competitive world pushes both parents to pursue a regular job. It is the wish of every parent to provide the best to their kids, for which they need to work hard. Balancing home, kids and a job all alone is often difficult. Hired domestic helps are not always reliable as role model for kids or trustworthiness. In such cases there is no better option than having the kids’ grandparents around, who fill in with their unconditional love and care.
Looking after grandchildren also keeps the senior citizens happy, as they enjoy the childish ways of the kids and be an integral part of their growing up phase. It gives them a purpose and sense of belonging after retirement too.
How Grandparents help-
Depending on individual physical ability, grandparents voluntarily take up myriad household responsibilities on themselves. Some of the duties they perform are-
• Looking after the children when parents are not at home.
• Helping the kids in their school work.
• Shopping for grocery and vegetables.
• Dropping and picking up kids to and from school.
• Supervising the children’s meals.
• Depositing various household bills.
• Taking out kids for evening stroll/outdoor play.
• Looking after the garden.
Responsibility of young parents towards their parents-
• Love and respect- If we love and respect our parents from the heart, they will happily try to help in our household responsibilities to the best of their abilities. Love and respect are the most desired in the old age. Give your parents the love and respect they truly deserve, and they will give back a lot more to keep you happy and stress free. Smiles and hugs and gifts make them feel loved.
• Domestic helpers- It is difficult for senior citizens to run after toddlers or feed them. It’s natural. Physical stamina lessens with age. Too much physical strength may be detrimental to their health. Therefore it is better to hire a domestic help who can assist the grandparents in strenuous works like feeding a toddler who is a picky eater. Keep a cook or do the cooking yourself.
• Share finances- Hand over a part of your income to your parents for the household shopping, emergencies and their own requirements.
• Family outings- Go out for picnics, movies, social gatherings with your kids and parents all together. It’s a beautiful way of making parents feel loved and wanted and of course you get to bond as a family.
Parents love to see us happy. Their happiness is in our and our children’s happiness. They go out of their way to make our life happy. Grandparents are the ones who are the happiest and proudest to see the grandchildren shine in life.