Listen to the children.

It seems that everyday there is research or studies saying one thing followed by yet another report that says completely the opposite.

If I am honest I take most of them with a pinch of salt.

We are asked all the time about statistics and the source.

The internet is full of opinion and experts!

Social Media as we know can be a cesspit, a place where people can make insulting remarks, hiding behind the unanimity of the unreal world of the internet.

Google anything or anybody and you can find out all sorts of things, whether they are true all false its all there.

When I read the headline of a newspaper article yesterday,which said, “Grandma and Grandpa have no purpose” my heart sank. I thought here we go again, yet another article about how we aren’t important and have no use within our family.

Never just read the headline.

The article by Sandra Howard was not as it first appeared. As I held my breath and put on my hard hat, I read on.

She was writing about grandparents and their positive role, she cited a study done by  Edinburgh  University scientists that concluded there was no evidence that children did better if they had grandparents in their lives, and that they declared there is no obvious biological reason for either sex living beyond the age of 50.

Well , as I will be 65 soon, that’s me finished.

Sandra wrote ,”What rot,’ in reference to the study.

Of course I am bias as I am one of those grandparents. I believe strongly that we are an asset, we can be the foundation of the family unit, we can be tremendous support to adult children, be it with helping with child-care, babysitting and giving the grandchildren the most precious thing of all, our time, because we have oodles of time.

As parents you are trying to juggle all sorts of different things, rushing here there and everywhere, working and keeping the family safe and looked after, as grandparents we have done that and worn the T-shirt.

We don’t want to interfere or criticise parents, (at least we should’t) we want to be there to support when asked and to just be part of the family, hopefully we have learnt a few bits and pieces along the way, and maybe our experience could help.

What is more important than what I think, I just happened to have had my twin grandsons for a sleepover and one of them asked me what I was reading, so I told him.We talked about how there are many, many grandchildren who don’t see their grandparents, including our grandchild , his cousin.

He went very quiet and then said,” I am glad that we can see our grandparents, we love them all, and would miss them if we couldn’t see them, I would feel a bit alone.”

After a few minutes he said,” Nan, I hope one day we will be able to meet our cousin,” I said,” So do I darling.”

It doesn’t need adults to do studies or research, just listen to what the children say.



About Jane

Jane setup Bristol Grandparent Support Group in 2007 after a string of incidents led to the loss of contact with her Grand Daughter.

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