Grandparents are parents without the discipline. As a parent, you have no choice but to use every single moment as a teaching point and a lesson. Parents can’t let up the same as grandparents can, because they’re responsible for how their kids turn out. That’s why grandparents are not the same now that they’re grandparents instead of parents. Instead, they complement the parents. Here are seven reasons why grandparent relationships are so important.

1. They Teach Family History

The best way to learn family history, including what your parents were like as children, is to talk to a grandparent. Grandparents are the savers of history and all the funny stories from “the olden days”. Nothing is quite like hearing about your mom’s first date from Grandma’s perspective. It humanizes parents and connects children with their heritage.

2. Grandparents Are Fun

It’s been mentioned that parents must parent. Grandparents may sometimes have to stand in for a parent, but they don’t really parent in the same way. They are more relaxed; they know time flies and dirty dishes aren’t as important as they feel during daily life now that they’ve lived a long time and have lived longer than they have left. Because of this, being with grandparents is like a vacation for kids and a time for fun and a relaxation of rules.

3. They Provide Parents with a Break

Most grandparents are happy to give parents a break now and then. If you’re lucky enough to have grandparents living nearby, they probably help out a lot. If they only visit occasionally, they still provide a break in the seriousness of day-to-day life for the parents and the kids.

4. They Reduce Parental Stress

When grandparents are around, assuming they understand who is the boss, they help reduce parental stress by providing backup support. If you really want to ensure that you, as a grandparent, are a stress reducer, agree to do things your child’s way when it comes to the grandkids. If you’re a parent, slack up a little so your parents can have some fun with your kids.

5. They Fill in the Gaps

Grandparents are great at helping with finances for things that kids need and want when parents are having a hard time. If you are having issues affording lunch for your kids, ask Grandma and she’ll likely help if she can. They’re usually happy to pay for lessons, help shore up the college fund, or pay for tutors when necessary.

6. Grandparents Love Unconditionally

It’s not that parents don’t love unconditionally, but it’s just different when you aren’t the one the kids are dependent on 100 percent. Grandparents have learned that spilled milk isn’t important but lots of hugs are because time goes by fast. They tend to overlook issues that would have been causing drama in their kids, to just be able to chill with their grandkids.

7. They Give Good Advice

There is something to be said for a lifetime of experience. Grandparents have made a lot of mistakes and can look back on life with a bird’s eye view of history in mind. Whether you’re a parent or a grandchild, getting advice from Granny or Grandpa about almost anything is a good idea.

Grandparent relationships are very important and should be encouraged and facilitated. Even if grandparents live far away, today with technology such as Facebook and Skype there is no reason for a grandchild not to have a special relationship with their grandparents.

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