Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Grandparents? What are they then?

It appears that nowadays many children are scared of old people. Not because they are mean and shouty and wave their walking sticks in the air but because they don't see them or talk to them very much. Gone are the days of old where we used to stop off at Granny's on the way home from school for many of our children.
There are many reasons I can see for this having happened. There are many young families where grandparents are in there 30's and so still have their own jobs as well as raising children and keeping house. In the UK people have had to move out of their home town for work or have not returned to it after university so just don't live near family anymore, and also there are those that are just sadly not interested.

As you can see above that is not the case for all grandparents, even great grandparents! There are some very lucky children who grow up with the benefit of Nanny and Grandad or Granny and Grandad in their lives. 

I met a lady in a particularly crowded and noisy coffee shop the other day who was talking fondly of days gone by when parents and grandparents disciplined their children. How she could remember children waiting for a conversation to pause before asking questions, how they would finish their dinner (whether they liked it or not) and say thank you to whoever had made it.  When respect was earned from both child and adult and families would stick together, eat together play together and work together.  I explained why I felt there had become a distance between children and older generations. Even gave my story on how it saddens me a little that my daughters don't see their grandparents that often. But, then we chose to move to the coast when a job came up for my hubby.

This lady didnt see her grandchildren so often either. She had recently sent her grandaughter a present and asked if I thought it was suitable - a swim nappy. This brought us on to the conversation of parenting styles. I  explained we used cloth nappies and showed her some of Elsie's. She thought it was lovely and even decided to send her daughter a cloth nappy for her grand daughter. So some mum out there will soon be receiving a cloth nappy through the post - hope you like it!

I feel there is a strong breed of 'old fashioned parents' nowadays, Anyway we got talking about how she never sees her grandchildren and my little ones never see theirs and the idea was sprung.

Now its not my original idea. I do remember seeing something perhaps on tv about a scheme another mum had set up where she took children into a Nursing Home or Care home for the children to play with the residents. Now this gave both children and elderly people the opportunity to mix, chat and play with each other on a regular occasion. These children have in effect adopted grandparents. I think it was lovely, and perhaps something I or we can look at starting in our local area.

I really enjoyed talking to this lady in the coffee shop, she is was interesting, funny and had some great ideas on parenting.  She would make a lovely grandparent - for any child.

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