Today is my oldest granddaughter’s birthday. Ellie is 5 years old. There is a special relationship between grandchildren and grandparents. I had great grandparents that I loved very much. It is said, ‘Grandchildren are the reward you get for not killing your kids.’ No comment, but I love my children and grandchildren.

I found an article by Dennis Guernsey called ‘What Grandparents Can Do.’  Let me highlight just 8 things I thought were helpful.

1. Grandparents can give children a sense of history. Grandparents are connected to a past that extends back farther than the parents’ past.

2. Grandparents can tell the family’s story. This includes reminiscences of what Mom and Dad were like when they were children.

3. Grandparents can contribute to children’s sense of identity. It’s important for children to understand that the base of who they are is broader and wider than just these two adults they live with. They are also related to others who contribute to who they are.

4. Grandparents can give another perspective to the world. People in different generations see things differently. Children are enriched by learning a different viewpoint.

5. Grandparents can multiply a child’s loving relationship. The more people a child has who truly love him, the more he feels important and valued.

6. Grandparents can help out financially. Often grandparents are more affluent than parents. Sometimes they can do things for their grandchildren that the children’s parents couldn’t do.

7. Grandparents can give parents the freedom to get away from their kids. A weekend or a week away from family responsibilities, with trusted caretakers for the children, is truly a gift to pressured parents.

8. Grandparents can provide children with a sense of security. We live in a very insecure world. Children may have terrifying fantasies – what would happen to me if my parents died? Knowing their grandparents, children can feel a little more stable. If something happened, Grandma and Grandpa would be there.

Can you think of any other things grandparents can do?