Relations often blossom between people who have an immediate biological linkage, like between parents and children, siblings or more specifically between mother and son or father and daughter. Even people who are not connected to each other by blood or heredity can see bonds growing between them because of age or similar engagement.
But among all of these, there is a beautiful relation which blossoms despite the people involved in them have little in common in terms of age, maturity level and also have a generational gap. That relationship exists between grandparents and their grandchildren.
The presence of the grandparents in the formative years of children strongly help in their character-building. Particularly for children who otherwise have a disturbed childhood because of prolonged absence of the parents or a separation between them or if anyone of them is dead or affected by a disease. Grandparents then can provide the alternative parenting to assure their grandchildren that they are not alone and insecure.
• Grandparents give grandchildren two types of support:
1. Emotional: This is a very key aspect in a grandparents-grandchildren relationship because when they are with their grandparents, the grandchildren do not have to face the pressure or the high demands they otherwise face from various other quarters of the society - be it the parents, educational institutes or profession. They spend their most relaxing time with grandparents and this helps them rejuvenate themselves emotionally.
2. Social: Grandparents, because of their unconditional affection for the grandchildren, become a strong support for the latter irrespective of the conditions and this becomes evident through their support in a social cause as well.
For example, when a grandchild prefers to do something unique in their career or thinks about taking forward a personal relation which he/she finds suitable at a young age, their greatest source of support is generally the grandparents.
It is quite ironical but grandchildren found less of a generational gap with their grandparents than with their parents.
• Best trainers in life: Prashant is an author who is known for his creative characters for children. But when one asks him the inspiration which made him successful in creativity, he doesn't say that it was any training institute or an instructor who taught him to grow his love for creative writing. Nor even his parents.
"It is my grandfather who gave me the earliest encouragement in my childhood. Though my grandfather was a Mathematics professor, he used to buy me all kinds of books - cartoon or children's literature - in native language as well as in English and those were the days when the seed was sown in my mind. My 'dadu' (grandfather) was my first teacher when it comes to creative writing."
• Interactions are another key aspect of grandparents-grandchildren relationship. It is actually a two-way traffic which benefits both sides - old and young. For the young, interacting with grandparents who have seen the greatest part of life (even more than the parents) influences their characters and teaches them on taking things in stride.
On the other hand, the grandparents also have a lighter time interacting with the young ones and find the perfect company they need to lead a hassle-free life. Both sides complement each other well as both of them are at a stage of their life which requires a helping hand, though for different reasons.
• Letting us know about cultural heritage/family history: This is something which the current generation is not really well-versed with. But those among them who have knowledgeable grandparents at home feel blessed since the latter can familiarise them with a lot of past heritage which has disappeared with time. Even they are a great source of the family history - a precious knowledge to have.
The relationship between grandparents and grandchildren is one which never meets any wear and tear. It is evergreen and always fresh for it doesn't take into account any equation of give and take or fulfilment of expectations. The element of innocence makes this relation so beautiful and great and hence, not vulnerable to change.