Being Grandparent Figures

Last year, on this feast of SS Joachim and Anne, I blogged briefly about what Jesus owed to his grandparents (see here). I see, looking back, that grandparents are rather a common theme with me (see here). That tells you something about the role grandparents played in my own life, but perhaps it also raises a few questions about grandparent figures in general.

I am not a great fan of spiritual motherhood or fatherhood as such*, but I am increasingly drawn to the idea that, after a certain age, we can all be grandparent figures to others. The bond between grandparents and grandchildren is more relaxed than that between parent and child. There is more fun in it, more ‘equality’ somehow. Love and concern and wanting the best for the other are reciprocated without any of the complications that often exist in the immediate family. It is a curiously grown-up relationship, even if there is an age gap of many decades between the two. Perhaps our society would be kinder and more supportive of one another if more of us were willing to take on the role of grandparent figure: encouraging, loving, being approachable and taking a genuine and unselfish interest in the lives of others. It is surely worth thinking about, whatever age we may be.

*It is often misrepresented.


7 thoughts on “Being Grandparent Figures”

  1. As a childless crinklie, my godson has given me the opportunity to enjoy the grandparent role – we are off Geocaching this morning, and had a zoo trip on Tuesday. The greatest joy is the regular contact which means non stop talk – long may it last

  2. Sound advice. Grandchildren bring much pleasure, fun and seeing them grow and develop without the responsibility of looking after them day to day is delightful.

    In some ways they bring out the joy of parenthood without the headaches that can go with that role. And seeing the next two generations of your family is an acknowledgement of your part in bringing new life into the world to share ours.

  3. I couldn’t agree more. Finding the quality in and interests of others and positively supporting that is surely just one small way of witnessing to God’s love for us :).

  4. The unconditional love between grandparents and grandchildren makes the present moment so fulfilling Grandchildren help rekindle the memories of our early years when we were parents. It is this expression of love reenacted which creates an awareness and a bond of parental love between the generations . ( As one very old lady always says her grandchildren give her so much happiness she only wishes she could have had them first )

  5. Oh dear. Because I grew up without extended family, but always had lots of ‘Aunties’, I really enjoy the auntie relationship I have now with children in the village, children of friends etc. Do I really have to act my age and become a grandmother?

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