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Grandparents often bond better with their grandchildren than with their own children.



Sometimes when I look at how the next generation is treated by our parents, I envy the next generation. With us, they would be strict, have rules which could not be bent, they did not seem very accommodative but when it comes to their grandchildren, everything gets tossed out of the window. Recently I was witnessing my mother take the side of the grandson when he refused to eat a particular vegetable. She was urging that we should let it go and not insist on him eating that. When she was reminded that she was not this accommodative with her children (us), she just smiles and says, “Those days were different”.


But it is generally true that people are more accommodative, more liberal, more generous, more indulgent to their grandchildren than with their children. They will be more tolerant of their mistakes and failures than they would be with their own children. This happens generation after generation. I have had many occasions when my grandparents were more indulgent with me or took my side in an argument.


Sometimes this results in hilarious logical situations in the house. When the grandparents are taking the sides of the grandchildren in an argument or situation, I have seen the grandchildren turn to their parents and say, “You always so we should listen to elders, no? So now why don’t you listen to your elders and buy me that”. There is no dearth of smartness in younger children.


Often when someone becomes a grandparent, they have reached a stage in life where there are no stress and tension of rearing children. There is no stress of work. Lots of leisure time on hands and someone else running the home. One reason for their relaxed attitude is this and another is, of course, their extreme fondness for their grandchildren. Even the grandchildren often dote on their grandparents if they have a strong bond or share the same living spaces. Children often know that they can get the grandparents to buy them stuff that the parents refuse.

As parents, they may not have been very ‘touchy/feely’ kind of people, but the grandchildren can climb all over them, and they will love it. Many men, who rarely carried their own children, look forward to carrying their grandchildren. Grandparents often bond better with their grandchildren than with their own children. So it has been for centuries.

This bond between the grandchildren and grandparents is a very precious one. It is often very touching to see a teenage grandchild help a grandparent to put on their socks, shoes, comb their hair, help them get up in many situations. The full circle of life. With shrinking family sizes, the number of such relationships is coming down. But I really hope every child gets a chance to bond with their grandparents and the other way around. That is a precious bond to preserve.

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