There’s no one quite like grandma… or grandpa of course
Did you know that over half of all Brits over the age of 54 are grandparents? That’s an awful lot of us!
Grandparents play a rich and wonderful role in their grandchildren’s lives and hold a special place in their hearts. You just have to look at the long list of affectionate names generations of small children have coined for their Gan-gan or Gramma to know this is true.
Free from the weight of parental responsibility, grandparents get to be themselves – cheeky, mischievous, tolerant(!) - qualities their kids claim have never been seen before. Sound familiar?
So, in honour of nannas and grandads past and present, here are just a few of the cherished roles you play in your grandchildren’s lives and what makes you so adorable!
Grandparents have been there and done that, so they make the best teachers. They have a knack of spinning a great bedtime story, reminding little ones about pleases and thank yous - and showering teenagers with pearls of wisdom.
When grandparents aren’t responsible for discipline and everyday care, they’re in an ideal position to be a real friend and confidante to their grandchildren. When there’s no telling off to worry about, it’s also easier to play the role of a mischief-making side kick - always great fun!
These days, 1 in 4 grandparents regularly look after their grandchildren. Parents are working long hours and grandparents are helping out with childcare or the school run. As much as it can be exhausting, there’s no doubt that the time grandparents give to their families means so much.
Grandparents are the link back to the family’s history. They can share stories about their ancestors and indulge grandchildren with tales of what mum or dad were reallylike once. Their past experience can inspire young imaginations and bring history to life.
Grandchildren make great apprentices in the kitchen, and grandparents love passing on their skills and family recipes – things that will be remembered for life. Most of us have memories of much-loved family dishes or grandma throwing together the perfect cake without weighing out a single ingredient.
As well as the bank of Mum and Dad, in tough times the bank of Gran and Gramps is busy too. From the big things like helping fund education and loans down to little treats like pocket-money toys and sweets, spoiling grandchildren is a grandparent’s prerogative.
Grandparents can often be a dab hand with a toolbox or sewing machine. Many a grandchild has watched hopefully over their grandparent’s shoulder as they squeeze magic glue on their broken toys or mend holes in their favourite clothes. Grandparents have also been known to help fix a broken heart or two.
The average age people become first time grandparents is between 48 and 52 years old. Far from taking it easy now their own children have flown the nest, a lot people are fulfilling grandparent duties whilst holding down a job.
Every child loves a hero, and who better to fill those shoes than a grandparent? Ok, grandpa’s no Spiderman and nan’s not as nimble as Catwoman, but in the eyes of a grandchild, they’re the perfect people to show them how to be strong, resilient and caring.
It goes without saying that the bond between a grandchild and grandparent is always a very special one. Do you have treasured memories of your grandparents when you were growing up? And if you’re a grandparent, what roles do you love playing in your grandchild’s life? We’d love to hear your stories.