“अभिवादनशीलस्य भनत्यंवृद्धोपसेभवनः । चत्वारि तस्य वर्धन्तेआयुर्धर्मो यशो बलर्म्।।”
An ancient Sanskrit quote says “Those who are humble & always serve the elderly, for the things of life steadily increase: their life, wisdom, fame & power.” Hence, serving the elderly is an integral part of our lives. The word “grandparents” is a unique world where the dual role of parenting is prime. Grandparents play a vital role by serving as the link to connect the entire family together. With a wealth of world’s experience behind them, and having a unique ability of analysing the views and thoughts acquired by people they have encountered throughout their lives they can offer support and stability not only to the adult family members but also to a child who is in a developing stage to deal with the world even when the work is a priority for the parents to run and feed the family. Grandparents not only fill the gap between the parents and the child but they also provide them with the knowledge about values of society, the mannerism and worldly concepts which they have gained through their own experiences. Indian culture is very rich and varied; but how many children today realize its value? Grandparents can convince them to appreciate the values of our tradition and can provide a platform.
for moral and religious values to be imparted which further helps in bringing up a positive psychological development of the child’s mind like they can teach them the importance of being truthful, faithful and obedient and enhance their ability to shower love, helping others in need, caring for everyone, being humble and respectful. Studies have shown that close grandparent-grandchild relationships are associated with less behavioural, emotional problems, fewer social difficulties with peers and their ability to cope with traumatic life events like a divorce or bullying at school concluding that the grandparent’s involvement with the children increases the well-being of that children.
They also provide a sense of security and support that helps kids through the adverse childhood experiences as makes it easier to them to open up and share their difficulties or problems with their grandparents. It has also been found that staying close to your child’s grandparents is a two-way benefit as the kids become more resilient, and grandparents become healthier because the grandparents who watch their grandchildren add more years to their life. Studies on adult grandchildren reveal that they felt able to express themselves more freely and were more able to confide in their grandparents than in their parents.
In the current scenario, globalization has eroded the sense of belongingness and identity with their roots, also, science and technology are questioning every possible thing. The parents who are already fighting constantly with the time are perhaps not in a position to inculcate the values because of their struggle with the family. Children are becoming more addicted to gadgets, smartphones, online gaming, social media, drugs and alcohol rather than spending much time with their grandparents who can serve as a treasure of knowledge about leading an ideal life in this world with the help of their actual social experiences. In cases like: pointing out the reason being lack of time, tensions, separations and of course modernisation’s demerits, changing family patterns, increased life expectancy, growing numbers of dual-worker households and higher rates of family breakdown grandparents must play a more active and participatory role in their grandchild’s life by providing an additional layer of security, to help in understanding the world in a better way to ensure a healthy psycho-physical-social development and carving their minds with good values in order to become better human beings. At last, there can be no gain in saying the fact that grandparent’s role is as important as the role of parents in the family. Their timeless experience, their patience and their ability to create a non-compulsive learning environment for younger minds is something that even parents have learned from. Grandparents are a blend of a friend, a teacher, a parent, who brings security, peace and strength for a blossoming mind to enrich their moral values and close the space between generations.
“If you have a grandparent keep close to you; you have a treasure for yourself, for your kid, for your family, for this society and for this world”