Grandparents in love: The Unconditional Love Only Grandparents Can Give
The Unconditional Love Only Grandparents Can Give
The qualities of empathy, self-understanding, kindness, and acceptance are the building blocks of character. The more we have, the better our world will be. Of all the many ways in which grandparents help their grandchildren, nurturing their moral imagination is our sacred task. The moral imagination isn’t created by discipline, and it doesn’t involve following orders from the authorities. It is an internalized sense of self that connects us with what is kind and fair, real and just.
Whenever grandparents foster Empathy, Perspective, Knowledge, and Agency we are nurturing the moral imagination—and perhaps making a better future for our grandchildren and their grandchildren.
Empathy is the air grandparents and grandkids breathe. Even before children develop self-awareness, an adult’s glance or gesture of understanding and acceptance is a comfort. In the hours we spend with grandchildren, our job is to love them and have fun with them. Sure, we may need to give a bath or help with homework or encourage them to do their chores. But most of the time we don’t need to hustle them. Maybe, because we have no overweening agenda, we can see the grandchildren as they are, not as parents wish them to be. The sense of being understood and loved helps a child develop empathy for others. Just listening to a grandchild, seriously and without judgment is an act of empathy.
Teresa knew she was different from the time she was five years old. She had a crush on her teacher, Miss Ogleby. She couldn’t understand her feelings, and she certainly didn’t like them, so she took this as her burden. The family shared a two-family house with Baba, Teresa’s grandmother. Teresa went upstairs to Baba when she came home from school. Teresa was nine when she noticed a pair of brown patent-leather loafers in the window of a local store. They were boy’s shoes, and they cost two dollars. Her mother wouldn’t hear of buying them for a girl. Every day as she walked home from school, Teresa looked at the brown shoes in the window and wished they were hers. She told Baba how much she loved them. Then one day they weren’t in the window. Teresa shrugged and walked home.
When she got to Baba’s, a brown paper bag lay on the kitchen table. “For you,” said Baba. Teresa tore open the bag, and there were the patent leather loafers. “You can wear them up here,” Baba said, “but don’t ever tell your mama about them. If you do, I’ll throw them away.” Eventually they wore out, but Teresa’s gratitude to Baba for love and recognition will never wear out.
Today Teresa is a minister and counselor, who works with LGBTQ teens. Baba, an immigrant from Germany who never learned to read, understood none of today’s concepts—but she knew that little girl, and she loved her.
One of the advantages of age, never mind the creaks and the meds, is Perspective. By the time we’re old enough to have grandchildren, most of us have lived at least half a century, and we have experienced “history.” The grandkids are amazed. “You lived without TV?” “No Internet?” As we tell them stories of what the world was like when we were growing up, we help set their lives in a broader context. Our lives, simple and complex, easy and hard, serve as models for them and give them perspective.
Danny is still mourning the death of Oma, his grandmother. Born in Leipzig, she was five when the Nazis went on the rampage known as Kristallnacht. Oma’s father somehow got the family out of Germany. They landed in Ecuador and eventually in the Bronx, where she met Opa. Sometime in her thirties, Oma discovered that she was going blind. Persecution, exile, and even blindness—none of these stopped Oma.
“The grandchildren viewed my Oma in world historical terms. She had overcome unimaginable adversity. And I think the amazing thing about it was that she was OK. She was clever, she was charming, and she was everything you want in a person. She was also blind, but she didn’t let it define her.”
Oma relied on her Seeing Eye dog most of her life. After the death of her husband, the dog was Oma’s closest companion and survival mechanism. So when Oma died, Danny and his family donated money to train a Seeing Eye dog. They all attended the dog’s graduation ceremony and watched as she met her new owner. The dog’s name is Oma.
The beauty of perspective is that it’s not taught in school but shared from one generation to the next. It’s one of the ways in which we grandparents may enter their souls.
Knowledge is different from information. Information is what you get raw from all kinds of sources, from books, from various media, and in school. Knowledge is information processed through life experience.
Grandmothers who grew up in the South during the years of Jim Crow tell their grandchildren of their experiences as children, setting a powerful context for the new generation. One grandma tells me that her ten-year-old grandson is astonished to learn that as a girl, his beloved and respected grandmother had to sit on the back porch of the Alabama home where her mother worked all day long, cleaning, cooking, and doing laundry. Why the back porch? That’s the way the lady of the house would have it. Grandmothers who were part of the Great Migration north tell their grandchildren how their fingers bled from the prickles when they picked cotton. The children are astonished to learn that Grandma was made to enter the local grocery store by the back entrance and to drink water from a separate fountain. These common stories from the generation that lived through Jim Crow model endurance.
My grandson asked what it was like to grow up in Washington, DC, during World War II. Then I explained that Washington at the time was a southern, segregated city. “No, Grandma,” he said, “Washington was in the North. That’s where Lincoln lived!” Knowledge is different from information.
All generations have a hand in encouraging their children to take a chance and master a new skill. Still, when a grandmother or grandpa urges you to do something on your own, to follow your dream, the message has a special salience–Agency. When the nonjudgmental sense of being accepted as you are, not as other adults want, or as your peers require—radiates from the gaze of a grandparent, it’s a confidence builder. When a grandparent offers words of encouragement the sky is the limit.
Encouraging grandchildren to follow their dreams, despite the worries of the other adults, is one of the pleasures of being a grandparent. We empower them when we bake together, garden together, write books together, teach them to knit and crochet, and stop cheating at cards to let them win as a nod to their becoming more grown up. We empower them in Grandpa’s garage workshop when they hammer their first nail and saw their first piece of wood. Sometimes we let them see their own strengths even though we don’t have a lesson plan.
Vanessa spent weekends at the farm of her step-grandparents. She dreamed of being an actress. One evening, Vanessa, by now a teenager, was in a poisonous mood. She’d had a big fight with her stepmother, and she stomped out to the pit where Poppa was tending the fire. “What’s the matter, baby,” he asked. “Nobody wants me to be an actress, nobody supports me,” she complained.
Then she saw him wave his hand and point his finger to the sky. “What are you doing, Poppa?” she asked. “Well maybe I’m writing it in the stars. One day, you’re going to be a famous actress.” There’s no way to anticipate her career, but I know for sure that when she wins an award, she’ll remember Poppa with his eyes on the stars.
Megan’s daughters spend many weekends at her in-laws’ farm not far from their mid-western hometown. Grandma raises goats. The girls have been helping her around the barn for years, and they know a lot about goats. Last summer, Grandma had knee surgery, and the girls, now young teenagers, stayed at the farm for two weeks and took over Grandma’s chores. These kids do lots of important things with their parents, but the confidence they gained from the summer of the goats will help them stride into the world with straight spines.
Am I giving grandparents too much credit? Of course parents do the heavy lifting. But rounding off the corners of a child’s character and strengthening that child’s courage benefits from more than one set of adults.
The joy of it is that we’re not teaching, we’re not preaching. We’re just loving.
“Excerpted with permission from UNCONDITIONAL LOVE: A Guide to Navigating the Joys and Challenges of Being a Grandparent Today by Jane Isay. Copyright 2018.
This book excerpt was featured in the Sept 9th edition of The Sunday Paper, Maria Shriver’s free weekly newsletter for people with passion and purpose. To get inspiring and informative content like this piece delivered straight to your inbox each Sunday morning, click here to subscribe.
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A Grand Relationship: The Bond Between Grandparents and Grandchildren is a Win-Win Situation
The bond between children and their grandparents is obvious, heartwarming and universal. “It’s the only relationship in which people are crazy about one another simply because they’re breathing,” says Dr. Arthur Kornhaber, author of The Grandparent Guide. He says grandchildren and their grandparents usually “have an adoration and unconditional love and joy in one another’s existence.”
BENEFITS FOR GRANDCHILDREN
Experts say the physical, spiritual and emotional benefits of a healthy grandparent-child relationship are significant for all parties. Grandparents help children gain a sense of history and provide a vital connection to the past. Like no one else, grandparents can pass on important family traditions and life stories that a grandchild will not only relish as a youngster but will grow to appreciate even more over time. Children with involved grandparents learn they can love and depend upon someone other than their parents.
Susan Bosak, author of How To Build The Grandma Connection, says children who have strong ties with involved, caring grandparents develop higher self-esteem, better emotional stability, stronger social skills (including an ability to withstand peer pressure) and enhanced academic performance. Since grandparents’ parenting and intense work commitments have usually passed, they are able to offer the time and undivided attention that can be challenging for tired, busy parents. Bosak often hears children explain that grandparents are happy to give them the “real scoop” on family stories that their parents would rather they not hear, like the time Dad hit a baseball through the kitchen window.
BENEFITS FOR GRANDPARENTS
Likewise, grandparents reap numerous benefits from a close relationship with their grandchildren. The desire to be present as a child grows has encouraged many grandparents to remain active, to educate themselves on issues important to children and to fiercely protect their own health.
Cindy Giallombardo was struggling with multiple myeloma (plasma cell cancer) when her first grandchild was born. This devastating diagnosis paled in comparison to the fear that she wouldn’t have enough time with him. So when he wrapped his tiny fingers around hers, she vowed not to give up on treatment. Because she wanted to see her grandson reach major milestones, she explored every treatment option available, a road she may not have taken without the motivation of a grandchild.
Her grandson, now 7, has no idea he’s been such a huge motivation for his grandmother. He only knows “she loves me more than anything,” and he takes great pleasure in riding on her scooter and swinging on her tire swing. He also loves hearing about the time his mom ran a golf cart into a ditch, taking the family’s mailbox with it.
STAYING IN TOUCH
Not all grandparents are able to be as hands-on as they might like. But even those who live far away can still have a huge impact on a child’s life. With a little effort and some help from modern technology, the relationship can not only grow and flourish. Allan Zullo, a grandfather who co-wrote A Boomer’s Guide to Grandparenting, says, “Being a grandparent is not an honorary position. We have a strong role to play even if we’re not living in the same town. We can still have a great impact on someone’s life and we want to share the good things we have learned to make someone’s life better.”
He encourages long-distance grandparents to share any hobbies that interest their grandchildren and to then schedule the time to work on mutual projects. That could mean you both complete quilt squares while apart and then get together to complete the quilt or work on separate cars for one model train that you’ll connect during spring break.
Some other ideas to keep ties strong: consider allowing children to spend part of school breaks or summers with their grandparents. Use the internet or cell phones to play games and chat. Send texts, emails and photos. (If grandparents aren’t logged on, children also love to receive snail mail.) Ask grandparents to video or audio record themselves reading a favorite book or sharing stories and memories. Finally, encourage grandchildren to ask plenty of questions. Grandparents love to share stories and children love to hear them.
BENEFITS FOR PARENTS
Experts say smart parents make every effort to forge strong bonds between their children and a grandparent (or even a grandparent figure.) Who else truly understands, loves and values your child in the same way you do? Even better, grandparents are usually more than happy to give parents a break from child-rearing every now and then.
By showing your children that you greatly value their grandparents, you’re teaching them the importance of maintaining close family ties — a skill that you’ll certainly want them to master by the time they have their own children — your grandchildren. Zullo says encouraging a loving relationship with grandparents is a special advantage that parents can easily provide. “What a gift,” he says, “a family history, a sense of family and their roots.”
Shannon Dean is a freelance writer and mother of two.
Spark an intimate conversation between grandparents and grandchildren with one of these open-ended questions.
What was the best birthday you ever had? Why?
Did you get an allowance? How much?
Tell me about your parents. Were they strict?
What did your house look like? Was your favorite memory in it?
How did you do in school? What were your favorite subjects? Why?
What time was your curfew when you were a teenager? Where did everyone hang out?
What was your first car?
What was your first job?
What makes you proud of my mom or dad?
Did you have any pets growing up?
What attribute do you think is most important in life? Why?
Is there anything that I can teach you?
What is your greatest wish for me?
What advice would you most want me to remember?
What is the worst thing my mom/dad ever did?
What is the best meal you ever had?
What was your favorite vacation?
Do you have any talents? Can you teach me?
What is your favorite book or movie? Why is it meaningful to you?
What is your proudest accomplishment?
Grandma and grandpa’s love is special.
A little about the holiday, a little about the book!
This cute holiday called “Grandparents Day” has been celebrated on October 28 since 2009 in Russia. The holiday, as you might guess, is unofficial. But no less valuable for that!
Grandparents’ love is special love. She is wise, tall, caring and patient. This love can’t be compared to any other love! I sincerely want to wish that in the life of every person it is preserved as long as possible. Let your grandparents watch you grow up, grow up, learn, start families… Let them be around for as long as possible. And you absorb this wisdom, affection, tenderness.
Let’s take a look at a couple of photos of grandparents standing next to their beloved grandchildren. Such kindness brings tears to my eyes.
It is especially joyful when you read such congratulations from grandfather. Modern families very often consist exclusively of women (grandmothers, mothers) and children. But the case when there is an older man in the family, whom you can look up to, motivates and inspires!
Grandmother told me to bow and tell her that she was asking for forgiveness
Share your photos with grandparents in the comments. While you are thinking about which photo to attach, I will tell you about an amazing book. It is called “ Grandmother ordered to bow and convey that she asks for forgiveness ”, its author is Frederic Backman.
I haven’t read good works of fiction for a very long time. This book struck me, so when I saw that Grandparents Day was coming, I immediately remembered it. The book tells about the life of a little girl Elsa and her grandmother. Her grandmother is unlike the others, she lives in a world of fairy tales, teaches Elsa not to be afraid, smokes a lot, quarrels with neighbors and runs away from the police.
The whole book is imbued with the very love of a grandmother for her granddaughter, which I spoke about at the very beginning. This book is a reminder to each of us that life is very fleeting, and the contribution of grandparents to ourselves is unlimited.
I want to focus on this. The book is not as easy as you might think. Do not think that we are talking about fairy tales. We are talking about the fact that every adult protects the child as long as possible from this crazy world.
And to make sure you want to read it, I’ll show you a couple of phrases from the book.
In Prosonia it is not customary to say “bye”. They say “see you later”. The inhabitants of Prosonia attach great importance to this, they believe that nothing and no one ever dies completely. But it only turns into a story: a slight grammatical shift, the tense changes from the present to the past. In Prosonia, they generally love time very much. In fairy tales, time is as important as magic or a sword.
An excerpt from the book “Grandma told me to bow and tell her that she is asking for forgiveness” by Fredrik Backman
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- Grandparents Day
The most beautiful and touching words for grandparents
Words of love and appreciation are incredibly important for older family members. It is between them and their grandchildren that the purest, warmest relations develop. Grandparents are part of the family team, their teachers, mentors and a constant source of joy. Therefore, when grandchildren congratulate them, they feel their need, involvement, and this gives them the strength to live, enjoy the new, wait for a meeting with their loved ones. Touching, beautiful words to grandma and grandpa are not just pleasant wishes. It is also a kind of relay race between generations. With these quotes, it will be easier to find good words.
Parents and children
Sometimes there is no time at all to invent and choose the right words. But with the help of a single quote, you can quickly write a whole story with warm words to your grandparents.
Contents of the article
Grandparents’ Day (and in Russia it is October 28) is a great moment to write words of gratitude. However, for this you don’t need to wait for special dates, any day is suitable for words of love to grandparents from grandchildren and relatives. Choose the ones you like best and create your own wishes based on them.
Grandparents’ Day: congratulations in your own words
Do you need beautiful words for grandparents on October 28, 2023 – their holiday? We have compiled simple, touching congratulations that can also be used as a status in social networks.
- Thank you for leaving a mark on my heart and inspiring me to live a better life. Love you!
- I remember you telling me interesting things, and they always surprised me. Now that I’m an adult, I miss the days when I listened to your stories. Happy Grandparents Day, dear!
- There are not enough words to express how much I adore you. Grandpa, you are my hero. I want to be as honest, kind and caring as you are. I am a better person because of what you taught me. I am the happiest – because I can congratulate you on Grandparents’ Day.
- Thanks to you, I had a wonderful childhood. Thank you for all these wonderful memories. You are my teachers, you are my inspiration. Thank you for making it so easy to communicate with you and for always being by my side. I really need you.
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Examples of simple and tender quotes and phrases for grandparents
They are ready to be close to their family all the time: they like to play or read with their grandchildren, make crafts or tell stories. They can teach their adult children invaluable experience, which can help them avoid common mistakes in life. It’s so easy to take and write kind words to your grandparents! And with our tips, it will take no more than a minute.
- Happy Grandparents Day! Thank you for your love, support and care.
- You are a blessing in my life and I cannot express how much I appreciate you. Congratulations, relatives, on Grandparents’ Day.
- You made my childhood bright and meaningful. Thank you very much for everything you have done for me. Happy Grandparents Day!
- This day is memorable, but not as memorable as the two of you. Words can never express how much I adore you two. I am so happy that I have someone to congratulate on this day!
- Thank you for supporting me and protecting me from harm and sorrow. I cannot express how much I love you, grandma and grandpa.
- Enjoy your holiday and know that I am sure that I am lucky to have you two. Also, I miss you so much.
- You hold a special place in my heart, grandma. With you, everything seems perfect and beautiful. But I especially appreciate the way you always comfort me, pity me. How wonderful that you are my grandmother!
- The time spent with you relieves all my pain and tension. Therefore, it is so easy and simple for me to live, knowing that you exist. And how great it is that I can congratulate you on Grandparents’ Day!
- You know, I’m lucky that it was from you that I learned kindness, honesty, restraint and diligence. Happy Grandparents Day, my dearest people.
- I miss your bedtime stories. You are my most wonderful grandfather!
Words for cards and congratulations to grandparents
I want to tell them so much! And for a warm childhood, and for smart conversations about everything in the world, for crafts and games, for fairy tales in the evenings. Look at these touching words, suddenly they will please you, your grandparents.
- Happy Grandparents Day folks. It’s hard for me to imagine my life without your love and support. Please pray for me so that one day you can be proud of me.
- I will forever be grateful to God for blessing me as your grandson. Happy Grandparents Day.
- I send you my congratulations on Grandparents’ Day. You never stopped showering me with your unconditional love. You are my guides through this confusing life, you are my mentors in moments when nothing works out for me.
- May your love and care continue to protect me from this cruel world. I love you to the moon and back, my best grandparents.
Touching words and quotes for the best grandfather in the world
There are no many grandfathers, but even one grandfather is a real treasure for grandchildren and the whole family. Phrases and statuses about grandfather from grandchildren are tender to the point of tears, and most importantly, sincere.
- Grandpas are just antique boys.
- A grandfather is one who has silver in his hair and gold in his heart.
- Grandpas are always for loving and fixing things.
- Grandpas bring a little wisdom, happiness, warmth and love to every life they touch.
- Grandpa has ears that really listen, hands that always hold, love that never ends, and a heart made of gold.
- Grandpa is someone you can look up to no matter how tall you are.
- Only the best dads become grandfathers.
Words of tenderness and congratulations for the most comfortable grandmother in the world
What is a grandmother? It’s. .. It’s… yes, it’s a whole world that her loving eyes are always looking out for. Need a birthday greeting for your grandma? We tried our best to find the best!
- You are a special person. I will always remember how you went through bad times or good times, you were always loving for everyone together and for each of us individually.
- Grandma, I love you a million times and more. You are my special grandmother, I know that you are always there to help when I am in such need of warmth and acceptance. Congratulations, grandma! I miss you and love you!
- How lucky I and all of us are to have you in our lives, that we are blessed that you are our grandmother. You create a magical atmosphere in the family, and you know, I am sure that you are doing some special good for the house and for us.
- My graceful, kind, loving, patient, supportive and reliable grandmother! My friend, my comrade in games, tricks and even a little hooliganism. You are the glue that holds us all together. I want us to have many more years of fun, games, laughter and joy ahead of you and your loved ones.
- You are such a stylish, cheerful, generous and full of life person, grandma. Looking at you, I believe that age is not a hindrance to good things. I pray for your health and joy. After all, you are the person whom I adore and whom I look up to. You are my treasure and my warrior.
- Congratulations, grandma. You are the cornerstone of our family, and I hope that your love and wisdom will always be dreams. I am so grateful to you for your love, for the moments in which we were together, for our messages in the messenger! I would like to know that this will be so for a long, long time. And for this, my family and I take care of you every day.
Thanks to grandparents: don’t forget to thank them!
Quotes and words said to grandparents will warm their hearts. Even if these are very short, but gentle SMS, they will be happy to receive them from you!
SMS for grandmother: tenderly and with love on holidays and on weekdays
When the morning of grandparents begins with a text message with good wishes from their beloved grandchildren, even the most frosty day is filled with spring hopes and warmth. Below you can select text for SMS to grandmother for every day.
- I’m sure you don’t count the years of your age. May these years be endless and full of happiness!
- My dear grandmother, I wish you to be always happy and healthy, like today! I love you and all your wrinkles!
- I wish my beloved grandmother many reasons for smiles and always warm days.
- May God give love and happiness to this woman, my grandmother, the one who gave me great attention and many warm hugs all these years.
- All these years you have taught me countless life lessons, and I have matured, wised up, gained experience. May this holiday make you feel like an 18-year-old girl, and I will become your adult!
- A garden of love grows in a grandmother’s heart.
- Grandmothers and roses are very similar. Each of them is God’s masterpiece with different names.
- Grandma is a little bit of a parent, a little bit of a teacher, and a little bit of a best friend.
- Grandmothers are mothers with lots of icing.
- Grandmothers never run out of hugs and cookies. Grandma’s heart is a patchwork quilt of love.
Quotes from books, from famous people for congratulations to grandfather
People who have become famous and great often remember that much of what they have achieved was laid down by their grandfathers. The words of these people can be used for touching congratulations to grandfather on his birthday or other holiday.
Don’t know what to give grandpa on February 23rd? Look at here!
- One of the most powerful handshakes is the handshake of a newborn around the grandfather’s finger. — Joy Hargrove
- There are fathers who don’t love their children; but there is no grandfather who would not adore his grandson. — Victor Hugo
- When I look for the person who inspires me the most, I often return to my grandfather. — James Earl Jones
- My grandfather was a great role model. Thanks to him, I learned the gentle side of men. — Sarah Long
- The closest friends I’ve had throughout my life have been people who, like me, grew up with a loving and loving grandparent. — Margaret Mead
- Each generation rebels against its fathers and befriends its grandfathers. — Lewis Mumford
- Grandparents really have a special place in the lives of their children’s children. They can rejoice and play with them and even spoil them in a way that they did not spoil their own children. Grandpa knows that after the fun and games with his adorable grandchildren are over, he can return to the quiet of his own home and peacefully reflect on this phenomenon of fatherhood. – Alvin Poussin
What famous people say about their grandmothers
Gentle, beautiful congratulations for grandmothers are obtained using quotes and words of people who have achieved a lot in this life. They know for sure that it would be more difficult without a grandmother.
- Grandma means warm hugs and sweet memories. She remembers all your achievements and forgets all your mistakes. — Barbara Cage
- Grandmother opens up a new world of change, challenge and celebration in a woman’s life. — Rebecca Barlow Jordan
- Sometimes our grandparents are like great angels. —Lexi Sage
- Grannies always have time to talk and make you feel special. — Katherine Pulsifer
- If all else fails, just call grandma. — Italian proverb
- A mother becomes a real grandmother the day she stops noticing the terrible things her children do, because she is completely fascinated by the wonderful things her grandchildren do. — Lois Wise
- There are grandmothers who are willing to move heaven and earth for their grandchildren. — Janice Elliot-Howard
- Relationships between parents and children are complex. The relationship between grandmother and grandson is simple. Grandma has little criticism and a lot of love.