This is the influence of grandparents on grandchildren
Currently, due to excessive work responsibilities and changes in the family structure (among others), the grandparents they substitute the parents fulfilling functions that are exclusively of these. On many occasions, parents save money and gain confidence that their children are well cared for.
This confidence and the security they provide is, in turn, an emotional cushion for the children of the home. On other occasions, grandparents assume a range of responsibilities to be able to help their children, in such a way that any behavior of denial or limits falls into oblivion by the prevailing idea of "everything for my children and everything for my grandchildren".
The grandparents thus become a figure that transmits affection, in indispensable counselors while they are witnesses of the physical, mental and emotional evolution that they experience. grandchildren, especially in the early years of childhood.
How is the figure of the grandparents at present?
At present and with the economic crisis, where unemployment and financial difficulties in families have increased, grandparents contribute, directly and indirectly, to the family economy, as well as the care and upbringing of grandchildren.
In many cases, when taking care of their grandchildren, they save parents an important amount of money that otherwise, they should invest in a person to take care of the children while the parents work. In other occasions, some of the parents may find themselves in an eventual unemployment situation and the grandparents contribute or are occupied, in a transitory or prolonged way, of many of the expenses that are generated by the house and the children. This necessary role of the grandparents in particular, has meant a great contribution to their families and to the social and economic spheres of many Western countries.
How do grandparents contribute emotionally to children?
The figure of the grandparent are emotional referents in the life of their grandchildren, regardless of the frequency and duration of the time they spend with them. They are wise, mature people, usually willing to dedicate time, patience and understanding, as well as transmitting learning through their lived experiences.
It must be said that although the grandparents do not have the function of raising and educating the children as the parents do, they do have a function of complementing and expanding the referents of aspects such as respect, prudence or listening. For this reason, parents tend to be more impatient, less understanding and even more demanding with their children than grandparents.
The key difference between parents and grandparents is that they have acquired the wisdom of experience over the years, have lived and overcome the stages of raising their own children, and now have the necessary disposition to enjoy the development and growth of their grandchildren and grandchildren.
The grandparents become caregivers and companions generating an emotional support that positively influences the bond with their grandchildren, which is translated into hugs, kisses and endless hours spent together learning from each other, providing security, warmth and security. On many occasions, they become the allies and guardians of their secrets, as they limit themselves to listening, teaching without reproach, value judgments or criticism.
What are the emotions that can arise from parents?
All parents who have needed to leave their children with their grandparents or some other alternative (day care, babysitting, etc ...) have experienced feelings of guilt, helplessness and frustration, as they can not devote the necessary time to parenting and the education of their children, feeling the "emotional loss" for not witnessing the growth of their children.
There may also be feelings of "jealousy" from parents towards grandparents, as they may have certain beliefs that they "intrude" into their lives and in their way of educating them. The emergence of these emotions is understandable when it is the grandparents who spend more time with the children, due to the schedules and professional responsibilities of the parents.
However, reality makes us aware that it is impossible to deal totally with elements such as work, the couple, the house or friends.
How to relieve responsibilities and avoid tensions?
In order to manage the different tense emotions that occur, it is necessary for the two generations to agree on the fundamental guidelines respecting the roles and responsibilities of both.
1. As many parents as mothers They must retaliate with the idea that everything can be controlled by generating large doses of anxiety.
2. To think that while the grandchildren are with the grandparents, It strengthens their education and development but they will never perform the role of father or mother.
3. Disengage from the feeling of guilt: Minors will value the quality of time more than quantity. They need loving and close parents.
4. It is important that grandparents respect at all times the figure of the parents and their responsibilities.
5. If there is any discrepancy It is important that both parents and grandparents communicate it without the presence of minors.
Ángel Bernal Caravaca. Psychologist and mediator. Co-founder of Lomber Soluciones Cyberbullying.