“Hi’dy, Hi’dy!” she’d call out as she came through the front door. We kids knew what that signal meant: Grandma was visiting! And we all came running to see what goodies she brought: Kudos, candy bars, Cheetos, or better yet, homemade cakes and cookies.
When I was a child I wrote a poem called ‘When Grandma Comes to Town’, in honor of my own grandmother, of course. It was a very juvenile attempt at poetry, but there are a couple of lines that sum up how some grandmas operate:
My own mother may shake her head when she reads this post, because she often had very different opinions than her own mother when it came to raising us kids. And, all too often, those differing child-rearing ideas that exist between the parents and grandparents can cause a lot of arguments and bad feelings.
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Now that I’m a mom, I am so thankful that my son has two loving grannies to spoil him rotten. Even though I may not always agree with the advice they give, I appreciate their help in raising my little guy. Here’s why it’s so important that my son gets ‘spoiled’ by his grandmas:
They give LOTS of parenting tips
Sometimes that advice isn’t asked for, but let’s face it: Grandma has a lot of life experiences to offer, and she’s been there, done that. She successfully raised you, after all! Perhaps there are some things you would have done differently, but it’s usually true that she did the best she could, and you are still alive, right? Grandparents can teach us so many important life lessons! She’s probably made mistakes in her life, and had successes too, and we can learn if we just listen.
As single moms, we are often stressed and overwhelmed!! (understatement!) But a loving, supportive grandparent can give us someone to talk to and share the load.
My grandmother and her husband owned a hardware store in a tiny Texas town, and when I was eleven years old, I started helping with their yearly inventory count. I remember making my way down those dusty shelves, using a home-made coding system to categorize the product by cost, and writing it down on a legal pad. As I grew older, she taught me how to help her with the bookkeeping. Even though she didn’t have a computer, I learned the principles of bookkeeping, which helped me in my future career as a bookkeeper for small business, and then later as the finance director for a busy medical practice.
Perhaps your child’s grandparents have a skill, or a hobby they would love to share. When our kids spend time with them, learn from them, it strengthens bonds as well as broadens their horizons.
Cultural history and family heritage get passed down through the generations. I wish I would have asked more questions of my grandmother when she was alive about the time period she lived. She was born shortly after the Great Depression ended, but her family was still poor and struggling. Some of her tendencies, like never throwing anything away, can be traced back to that Depression Era mind-set. As I struggle to teach my own son about the importance of not being wasteful, and being grateful for what we have, I wish she was around to back me up.
It’s important that our children have roots.
“Research shows that hearing stories about family members overcoming hardship can actually help our children become less discouraged when they face hardships.” -Susan Adcox, The Spruce. (Read the full article here).
This is a no-brainer for us single mothers, right? I wish I’d lived closer to my son’s grandparents when he was younger, instead of sending him to a daycare run by an ancient little woman whose home smelled vaguely of soup and cigarettes! (Don’t judge – it was all I could afford!)
We are often the sole providers, so it’s up to us to work hard to support our families. If you are lucky enough to live close to grandparents, you likely know that they can fill a void for our children when we are busy making a living.
Thank you, all you grandmothers, who are willing to keep our little rascals while we work!!
“Kids often reveal secrets and problems about their life to their grandparents, and the latter offers them valuable advice on how to deal with the situation. In this manner, grandparents make sure that the kids do not cross the boundaries by their actions.” -Jason Ladock, HealthGuidance.org (Read the full article here. )
This can be especially true when we, as single moms, are struggling with our own issues. Your children need as much social support as they can get.
When I was a teenager, I spent a lot of time with my grandmother – and I felt completely comfortable opening up to her about boys, life decisions, whatever.
When our kids have those healthy relationships, it helps give them strength and comfort as they grow to be adults.
A Sense of Safety and Protection
When I was six years old and I got to spend the night with Grandma, she would sing me songs and tell me stories; the same ones over and over and OVER because that is what I begged for. I always felt completely safe and secure as I drifted off to sleep.
Grandparents can provide that sense of safety and protection for our children. And we, as parents, want as many protectors around our kids as possible.
My son has his own special fan club: his grandmothers. Does this mean he gets conceited? No! He doesn’t expect the rest of the world to be that excited by all the little things he does, but he knows if he makes an A on a test, Grandma is going to give him a huge hug and tell him how proud she is.
We need grandmothers to teach, love, and fulfill our children’s physical and emotional needs. If your child is lucky enough to have his grandma around, make sure they are able to spend enough time together that these bonds are strengthened. They will both be glad you did.
Read other great articles here:
Do you have any stories to share about spoiling (or spoiled!) grandkids? We want to hear from you!