By Constance Ndeleko
The presences and guardianship of grandparents is vital in a child’s wellbeing. Their role cannot be underestimated in promoting a child’s growth and development in most African set ups.
Generally, every child has a right to belong to family. Every child also deserves to feel and enjoy life in a family that loves and care for them regardless of life circumstances.
The significance of grandparents is often unappreciated. For starters, they bring in decades of hands-on experience in parenting compare to us.
Grandparents are a references to our histories in different times, they hold our understanding into the roots of our culture and traditions, and they pass unmatched wisdom that we greatly embrace throughout our lives, they provide us with security most especially survival tactics in different African settings.
“Globally, it is estimated that 250 million children under the age of 5 are at risk of not achieving their full developmental potential. Early life stress can lead to detrimental changes in the brain that may affect later adult health and lead to loss of economic productivity. Caregivers, such as parents, grandparents and extended family members, can have large influences on these trajectories. Therefore, identifying how important actors shape this critical period is key to developing interventions to improve child health.”
Through storytelling, children have been able to broaden their horizon which has filled most of important needs required by children as they grow. These stories have made children have a sense of belonging to a particular community, religion, with values that they carry throughout their lives.AdvertisementsREPORT THIS AD
In pre-modern and traditional populations the existence of grandmothers have been found to improve child survival rates. In modern societies, maternal grandparents are found to increase child well-being measured by psychological adjustment and development.
Influence of grandparents in a child’s growth and development
Grandmother knowledge of maternal and child nutrition recommendations, infant feeding practices and their decision-making power have been demonstrated to not only affect maternal practices, but also child health and development.
We are currently living in a technology-driven world that is much faster and progressive than the previous generation. Families have evolved, and parents may not be able to spend as much time with their children when compared to the older times. This is when grandparents come to the rescue and make up for the quality family time that children crave. They provide a sense of belonging to your child and are the closest alternative to fill up yours and your partner’s shoes during the busy hours of the day.
Care and protection- They offer unconditional love and support which meaningfully benefit children in contributing to their development of self-esteem.
Wisdom and knowledge- As the saying goes, the most valuable lessons in life are free and grandparents are there to teach children various skills. They are always present to offer more understanding into life perspectives and an opportunity to learn different ways of life.
Shoulder to lean on- they offer absolute support to children’s emotions in understanding different event, they provide guardianship most especially when parents are unable to do so. A source of stability and safety by giving advice in various situations.
They are an example of positive values, ideals and beliefs, grandparents can be role-models for their grandchildren, teaching them important values.
Sometimes grandparents even “protect” children from their parents’ setting boundaries. It is important to bear in mind that parents should clearly state that they are “responsible” for the upbringing of their children and everyday decisions.
The importance of grandparents often lies in the fact that they strike a balance in your child’s life, especially when the child is looking for a much-needed break from worldly competition.
With all these details, it is safe to say that the importance of grandparents in your child’s life is much more than you can fathom. Living in a multigenerational household can be highly beneficial for your child, your partner, you as an individual and your child’s grandparents.
A child who has grandparents as a caregiver in addition to parents will be more affectionate, more deeply rooted in culture and traditions and more family driven.