I’m not a grandparent yet, but I have many happy memories of my grandparents around Sunday dinners, family get togethers and special occasions. My dad’s grandmother loved to stay with us when my parents vacationed. She would spoil us, cook our favorite meals and tell us how good we were. My mom’s mom came to live with us once my grandfather died. She spent many of her days baking up strudels and German baked goods. The warm kitchen on cold Michigan winter days was welcoming and inviting. Stories of the war, hardships and overcoming, encouraged us and made us grateful for the sacrifices family made to give us education and opportunity.
Most importantly, my grandparents passed down a rich spiritual history. Always integrating God into the conversations and daily life, we learned a set of beliefs and values we live by today.
Grandparents, do you know how important you are, especially to those teens in your extended families? If you have a close relationship with those teens, you are improving their emotional and relational health.
A study published in the American Journal of Orthopsychiatry online found that grandparents have a useful role when it comes to complementing good relationships between parents and teens. But the benefits are best when the grandparent has a close relationship with his or her own child as well. So if grandparents have a happy relationship with you as the parent, that filters down to your teen.
Today on Grandparents Day, give a hug, a shout out to the people who brought you into the world and where possible, strengthen those relationships. A good relationship with your parents will benefit your teens as well. It will help keep the teen out of trouble and emotionally healthy! And we could all use that support in today’s world.