The importance of Grandparents in the Education of Children

Grandparents are one of the most important foundations of our society . They sustain the experience and are the living history of our cultures, traditions and origins. In indigenous cultures, for example, they are the elders, those responsible for the collective and medical wisdom of the rest of the community, they are respected, loved and held in the highest social position.

In our societies, many of our elders have limited themselves to reaching a certain age, collecting a pension and retreating into the armchairs in front of the television. Still having a lot to contribute to our society and, above all, to the children and young people in his family. It should be noted that many people reach adulthood without having had grandchildren , which makes their situation sadder due to the abandonment they suffer from their busy family members.

Currently, 45% of grandparents take care of their grandchildren . For various parental reasons, justified or not, children often have to stay with their grandparents. The latter can be of different ages, so we find some who are young, others who are not so young and others who rather require care and attention.

Grandfathers and grandmothers are key players in the emotional development of children , since they link them with their past and, above all, they can provide them with a lot of experience . This is why it is very important that parents educate their children from a young age with a clear vision and great respect regarding the role that elders play in the family.

One of the outstanding aspects of grandparents is that they relate to their grandchildren through play and stories , which implies an enriching function full of fantasies that feed the imagination and allow the child to have a sense of belonging and family roots.

A child who knows his family history feels part of a whole and understands that what he lives and enjoys today was built with great effort in previous times. In addition,  older people really enjoy outdoor activities, since they have more time, and these are very beneficial for children and young people.

Parents have a great responsibility in raising children , in addition to supporting the economic, family, social and school burden that this entails, therefore, it is easier for grandparents to enjoy their children as they are freer from this pressure. In addition, they are excellent mediators between children and parents when conflicts arise.

Grandfathers and grandmothers in the classroom could be great allies of formal education . They can transmit to children many experiences, the origin of their communities, towns and cities, lived stories, customs and traditions that are the great cultural heritage.

In addition to fostering in children and young people an emotional bond with the past that allows them to continue with the essence of the development of their social environment. On the other hand, the participation that would be given to the elderly would strengthen their self-esteem and make them feel useful and recognized at this stage of their life.

An interesting educational project that could be carried out with minimal design and start-up costs would be visits by seniors to the centers during the school year . As general recommendations:

1) Choose grandparents , according to their experiences and trades or professions, who can visit the classroom. Explain to them the objectives being pursued. Elderly people from the community can also be chosen who, although they do not have grandchildren, can be of great help by being part of the community’s history.

2) Prepare some materials and/or tools so that the grandparents can teach the children basic notions about certain trades: toy design , baking, carpentry, livestock, poultry, agriculture, etc.

3) Prepare spaces so that the grandparents can tell stories , stories, legends or important events in the community and that the children can make representations (illustrate stories, plays, write songs or other stories, etc.)

4) After the activity,  organize dialogue and discussion tables with the children and thus close ideas and provide guidance on doubts or specific attitudes (values, respect, sincerity, etc.).

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