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Grandpa's a rock star!




That headline is the description I put on this photo way back in 2013, when my husband and I were just tiptoeing into the tremendous universe-expanding event that is grandparenthood.


It is a life role that envelops you, and then magically transports you into a dimension of time and space you didn’t know existed. 


The universe simply gets bigger. And brighter.


Our oldest grandson was not yet a year old in this photo, but we were sure he recognized his starring role in our lives. And we could only hope that our own role would be reflected back in his gaze.


Now, nearly 12 years in, we’re still thrilled by the journey through this expanding universe. Turns out we’re far from alone.


Among all species on earth, humans are unusual in that their lifespan can include grandparenthood, researchers David A. Coall and Ralph Hertwig wrote in the April 2011 issue of Current Directions in Psychological Science.


I had to let that sink in when I first read it because, well, it seems that ability — which, thrillingly, I currently possess — must play an important role in making sure humans flourish. Only a couple of other species, such as some whales, survive long enough to nurture children of their children.       

 

And, indeed, Coall and Hertwig say there is evidence suggesting that over the course of human evolution, the presence of grandparents substantially increased the chances of a child surviving during the high-risk period of infancy and childhood. 


That’s likely still true today, when many grandparents are primary caretakers of their grandchildren. But there’s more.


“Recent research suggests that grandparents’ involvement during childhood is positively linked to emotional development in early adulthood,” according to Thomas R. Verny, M.D., in the 11.29.2023 issue of Psychology Today, citing a study from the Institute for Engaged Aging at Clemson University, South Carolina.


In the face of challenging family dynamics, young adults participating in studies cited lessons learned from their grandparents — gratitude, respect, appreciation — as significant building blocks in their current well-being and perspectives on life.


Researchers found that when grandchildren have the opportunity early in their lives to experience their grandparents’ knowledge, wisdom and family traditions, their self-esteem is strengthened, as are their family beliefs, norms and values.


That’s pretty powerful when you consider that the lessons learned from grandparents persist all the way into adulthood.


Makes you realize that grandparents might really be rock stars.

8 Kommentare


I learned baking from mine. (Sometimes I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad one!). And there were many fun days picking strawberries and corn (when it was a lot easier to bend down!). I hope we bring some of that joy and fun into the lives of our two.


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Sharon Emery
Sharon Emery
27. Feb.
Antwort an

I have no doubt that your grandsons are reaping SO MUCH from you and Rick. You’re rock stars!

Sharon

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Jim Barry
Jim Barry
26. Feb.

This is new information for this grandparent ("Grampa") with only 14 months in the club. I feel even more special! 😊

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Sharon Emery
Sharon Emery
26. Feb.
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Super Grampa, Jim!

Sharon


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Great post! I can see from afar that both of you grasp this concept well. My grandparents were invaluable as you speak. One grandmother in particular, was "my rock" and the matriarch of the family with love and guidance.

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Sharon Emery
Sharon Emery
26. Feb.
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Sounds like you have been one lucky guy, Brian.

Sharon


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susan odgers
susan odgers
26. Feb.

I love this post, Sharon.

My paternal grandparents were everything to me. My husband feels the same way about his paternal grandma. I was fortunate to know my maternal great grandparents and even great great grandma for a bit...5 generations alive at one time...me the baby.

I always wanted to be a grandma.

Not having our own children, my husband and I have found lots of ways to nurture children. He's a mentor with kids experiencing trauma at the elementary school level and we're both the favorites of our nieces/nephews as well as to our neighborhood children. We also advocate for all children, around the globe, every chance we get.

With gratitude,

Susan Odgers


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Sharon Emery
Sharon Emery
26. Feb.
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The world needs more “grandparents” like you and Tom! ❤️

Sharon


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