The Grandpa Difference and the Grandma Benefit

grandparentsGrandpa and I are visiting our youngest grandchildren and watching them so their parents can have a weekend alone. It just so happens that a long (we don’t say old) friend has her two granddaughters for a visit at the same time.

My friend bemoaned the lack of involvement of her husband, their grandpa. He did the airport run and joined them for meals and not much else with his only two granddaughters.She happened to be telling me this while I had the freedom to talk on the telephone while grandpa was giving our two grandsons a bath by himself. Of course, this morning, grandpa reminded me how much he is participating with me as a hands on grandparent. Yes, he is.

So, what does this grandma think is the difference? I know my husband had a very participatory grandfather. He remembers with great love the times he spent with his grandfather. His grandfather gave him an allowance, drove him to his sports, bought him all his major toys, took him on vacation and gave of his time and affection. He even left money in his will for his grandson’s first car. Could it be the role model of such an outstanding grandfather could produce such an outstanding grandfather?

This grandma gives a resounding YES. I know our three grandsons have the best role model as a grandpa. They are lucky and so is he. I love watching his joy as he watches the grandchildren and participates in their lives. I smile when I picture my grandsons as future grandfathers–telling their grandchildren about
their special grandfather as they participate in their grand children’s lives.

This grandma has an added bonus in having a wonderful partner, in life and grand parenting. Now, when my granddaughter comes home with a beau important in her life, I know to ask, not only about his parents, but about the relationship he had with his grandfather. I know that answer is important to the enrichment of my granddaughter’s grand parenting life.

I have another long friend whose husband is so participatory with his step-grandchildren. I must ask him about his grandfather the next time we are together. Maybe that is the key to getting grandpas more involved–reminding them of their special relationship with their grandfather, or if it was not warm and fuzzy, querying how would they want their grandchildren to remember them.





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