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The Value of Grandparents

Those of us lucky enough to have grandmothers and grandfathers know how influential they can be in our lives. I have the best memories of cooking with my grandmother. We have a family salad dressing recipe that was always used at her house. My grandfather would take all of his grandkids like a little row of ducks, to the back of the house where he kept the bird seed. We would strategically follow him around placing seeds in all his designated places through out the property. I was lucky to have known them to be a part of my childhood. When it came time to name my daughter, I used my grandmother's middle name for her middle name. Helena.

The bragging rights that grandparents claim about their descendants are legendary. I know for my mom, she has told me how surprised she was to be so in love with my daughter at her first breath.

As I was researching about grandparents, I found a great article in Psychology Today about the several different types of grandparent relationships that are possible. It's not a one size fits all role. Here is what I found:

1. Formal grandparent: follows what are believed to be the appropriate guidelines for the grandparenting role, which includes providing occasional services and maintaining an interest in the grandchild, but not becoming overly involved. My mom- 100%

2. Fun seeker: emphasizes the leisure aspects of the role and primarily provides entertainment for the grandchild.

This will be my dad. The prankster & novice magician.

3. Surrogate parent: takes over the care taking role with the child.

4. Reservoir of family wisdom (usually a grandfather): the head of the family who dispenses advice and resources but also controls the parent generation.

5. Distant figure: has infrequent contact with the grandchildren, appearing only on holidays and special occasions.

I am so thankful to have a wonderful relationship to my parents and that they have so much love, jokes and advice (even when I don't ask for it) for my kiddos.

Photos of the Williams Family

Madison, WI, US

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