You don't have to be perfect to be the perfect parent!

The gift of Grandparents!

“What children need most are the essentials that grandparents provide in abundance. They give unconditional love, kindness, patience, humor, comfort, lessons in life. And, most importantly, cookies.” – Rudolph Giulian

This past weekend all 4 of our children and their cousins spent time with my parents.  While there, the kids helped a bit in the yard, were fed non stop and enjoyed the company of both their cousins and their grandparents.  Their relationship with both my husband’s parents and my parents have been very special, from times camping and fishing to even college spring breaks with the snow birds.   I am not kidding, all 4 of our kids and even some of their college roommates have spent their college spring breaks with the 65 and older crowd in Gulf Shores the past several years.  Every year I feel my heart melt when I see pictures of my kids enjoying the sunshine and their grandparents.   What great times and memories the kids have tucked away.

Relationships with grandparents are so valuable to children.  When nurtured, a relationship between a grandparent and a grandchild can become a very special life long bond.  Grandparents should not step on a parent’s role as the primary authority figure, but assume the role of providing unconditional love, hugs,  fun, and support.  I believe that parents really need to invite grandparents to be a part of their children’s lives.  Grandparents also need to be willing to be involved in their grandchild’s life.  When the relationship is embraced by all,  the value is multifaceted.

  • Grandparents can provide a little loving indulgence to your child.  There is something special and exciting for a child to receive a treat like a package of  M &Ms, to be allowed to stay up a little later, or to get a little  special attention all to themself from a grandparent.  Grandparents really can’t “spoil” a child, because usually their indulgences are for a short time.  Children who get daily indulgences from parents are more at risk of  being “spoiled”.  That little bit of special attention and treats from a grandparent is just so special to a child.
  • Grandparents are living historians for your child. Hearing  stories about the lives of grandparents when growing up, and stories about the child’s parents when they were young give a child a real feeling of connection to the family in a very special way.  What fun for a child to hear about life before cell phones, or picturing their Mom or Dad at their age!
  • Grandparents are cheerleaders.  Grandparents usually see the positive in their grandchild.  Most of the time, a grandchild can do no wrong in a grandparent’s eyes.  What a special gift for a child to have a constant cheerleader in their life.  Grandparents love their grandchildren for who they are, not how they perform.
  • Grandparents are special friends.  Because a grandparent usually is not responsible for day to day care and discipline, they can become the “fun friend”, and confidant for their grandchild.  Because of a grandparent’s life experience, they can provide a bit of balance to a grandchild who may be upset.  They provide a safe place for children when they sometimes can’t talk to a parent.  They are another safe adult in a child’s life.
  • Grandparents provide special fun.  Grandparents are often more relaxed and lenient than a parent…which is not a bad thing!
  • Grandparents are wise.  Never underestimate the value of wisdom.  I know there have been many changes in parenting over the years, these changes tend to be regarding the “how to” of parenting.  The “how to” of  starting solid foods, the “how to” of car seats, the “how to” of safe sleep, and the list of new “how tos” goes on.  However, there is a piece of wisdom in parenting that never changes, and sometimes it takes a parent who has “been there, done that” and loves you and your child to impart the wisdom needed in a parenting situation.
  • Grandparents teach the value of senior citizens.  Children need to learn the unique gifts which people with some gray hair can share with them and remember that the love and care you show to your own parents, will teach your children how to love and care for you in the future.

I know for some it is an impossibility for you to have a healthy relationships with your parents.  A parent should never place their child with anyone who would be at risk of harming them physically or emotionally.  There are also those of us whose parents are no longer with us, and our children will not meet their grandparents except through the sharing of stories about their lives.  In either case, “grandparents” can be adopted and loved.  There are many older people who need a young child in their life as much as the young child needs them.  Search out a relationship with another older “grandparent”.  Intergenerational relationships have such value.

Foster those relationships with grandparents.  Make an effort to share everyday news and happenings with them.  Encourage your child to talk on the phone, send pictures, and go on outings with Grandma and Grandpa.  Relationships that are encouraged and fostered result in a priceless relationship between a grandchild and a grandparent.  Our children have special memories of Brad’s parents, and continue to build memories with mine.  What a gift, a priceless gift!

Take a breath, enjoy the joyful moments of each day, and remember you don’t have to be perfect to be the perfect parent.



  1. I just happened to come across your blog and wanted to say how I so agree with you on this subject. Grandparents are so important to a child. We need more loving grandparents in this world!! Great post 🙂


    • Thanks for the nice comment. We need to enjoy our parents and grandparents…so much wisdom and joy in doing that! Seniors are a gift to society that we often forget. Stop by the blog again! 🙂


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