The relationship between a grandchild and a grandparent is a very special one. While grandparents act as an authority figure and provide unconditional love, they also get to spoil their grand kids in a way parents simply can’t. We grew up with our Lola in the family’s ancestral house since our mom was a solo parent working to fend for us. Most of our qualities that make up our character came from Lola. But beyond that, grandparents also wield incredible influence. They are also dull of wisdom to share with younger generations—here are some life lessons we could learn from them or perhaps activities you can do with them.
Kids may hate having to learn about history in schoolbooks and from old paintings and pictures, but they may find it more interesting to learn from someone who actually lived it. Children can find out what it was like to grow up during the Great Depression or World War II from grandparents who experienced life during that time. Personal stories are much easier to remember than lists of names and dates from books. Hearing them tell their stories from a first-hand experience is way better than reading from textbooks.
A New Skill Set
When they were growing up, many senior citizens learned skills such as sewing, gardening baking, farming, or woodworking. These are great things to pass on to grandchildren, as they may not be commonly taught anymore, but are still very useful talents to possess. Our Lola was really very creative as she used to make amazing crochet designs. Unfortunately, we were not interested back then in crochet or cooking that she failed to pass on her recipes and she wasn’t able to teach us how to do crochets. So while your grandparents are still around, make time to learn about their very special skills so that his or her legacy will be passed on even to the next generation.
Turn to grandparents for life lessons and other advice because they’ve often lived through the same or similar experience—possibly more than once. As they say, ‘they’ve been there, done that.’ In the vernacular, “Papunta ka pa lang, pabalik na sila.” Listen to them so you won’t be suffering the same consequences.
Everyone has those old black and white pictures of unknown relatives, but grandma and grandpa may actually know where they were taken and who those mystery people are. You’ll know about tons of family members you didn’t know existed. And maybe they can share some funny stories about your parents when they were young.
Teasing is a part of growing up. But when it comes from someone who loves you unconditionally, it’s a way more enjoyable. Learning jokes and pranks from your Lolo and Lola will even help you play a prank on your parents.
Many young children are used to their parents listening to everything they say, and they expect others will do the same. While this is often normal for young children, it’s important for them to learn how to listen to others as well.
Ever played bridge, canasta, pinochie or pitch? These card games—staples to old folks or older generations—are falling out of style with the advent of video games and smartphones. Let your grandparents teach you what they did for fun when they were your age and you might find you have a new favorite card game.
Having a sounding board who doesn’t spend every day with you, like a parent or guardian does, can be invaluable when you’re trying to navigate the teenage years.
Don’t sweat the small stuff
Grandparents have lived long enough to realize not to get upset over the little things; life is too over the little things; life is too short. Young grandchildren think everything is hyper-important, but can earn to adjust their priorities after discussing problems with their grandparents, who have a broader world view.
If they live far from you, send them a letter, ask them how they are even if it’s not yet Grandparent’s Day. Yes, send them a snail mail. They will not only be happy upon receiving one from you, they will surely keep them. Don’t let the art of letter writing fade. It’s great practice for kids who are learning how to write. Set up some pen pal time with your grandparents and you can each send postcards, letters or souvenirs from your latest excursion. You’ll both have a great time waiting for the next letter to come in the mail, and you’ll grow closer in the process.
Grandparents come with years’ worth of wisdom and love to share with their grandkids. Take the time to really get to know and learn from them while they’re here. They’ll cherish the time they get to spend with their grandkids and, in turn, the kids will gain insight and character they can pass onto their own children and grandchildren someday. There’s no better way to pass on family traits than through time spent with one another.