Over the last two years we have heard the Prime Minister and almost everyone who has appeared on our TV screens, whilst discussing the impact of isolation from family members, say how important the relationship is between grandchildren and grandparents.
So why is this relationship so important?
Several studies and reports have shown that this unique relationship is vital in the well-being of both generations.
I think those who have the privilege of being grandparents absolutely know how your heart leaps when you see that precious person rushing over towards you, the smiles on both faces speak louder that any words.
All children are curious to know about their family history, ‘warts and all’ grandparents are the best storytellers, they have actually lived those stories, they have experienced the highs and lows of family life.
Our family history makes us what we are today.
Many adult grandchildren will say that their life values were influenced by their grandparents.
Grandchildren who have regular contact with their grandparents share that emotional closeness and unwavering support, showing them what a positive relationship looks like.
Grandparents can be a place to go, a place to feel safe and secure, a place to talk freely about anything to unload all those traumas of growing up. We have been there, worn the T.Shirt and survived those struggles. We know how important it is to talk about our problems, it reduces stress and bouts of depression.
Grandparents have, time.
Talking together helps both generations, the grandchildren able to unload and the grandparent listening and supporting, it is a giving and receiving relationship.
The role of being a grandparent doesn’t come with a rule book, anymore than there being a rule book on how to parent, we all learn on the job, as such we don’t always get things right.
Sadly sometimes the result can mean the withdrawing of this precious relationship.
The whys and wherefore of why action like this happens will depend on who you talk to, but the people most affected are the grandchildren.
The disagreement or conflict is with the adults not the children, and yet the adults in their lives are prepared to cause hurt and pain, the cruelty to the children is unbelievable.
This living bereavement is felt not only by the grandparents but by the grandchildren themselves, they do not understand why they suddenly are not able to see the grandparents they love and care about.
The grief we all experience is like a journey with no destination.
Grandparents should be a family treasure, the building blocks, the stability, the guidance, who form cherished memories and are teachers of life long lessons.
Today Marc and I went to see a plaque that we have had done on Clevedon Pier in North Somerset, it is another lasting legacy to all estranged grandchildren in the UK and beyond. I hope that grandparents and grandchildren will read it and know they are not alone.
So the answer to the question “Is the relationship between grandchild and grandparent important?”
Yes, most definitely.