Grandparenting – More than a stand-in for busy parents (Pt 1 of a 2 Pt Article)
Parenting is no walk in the park, but grandparents make the walk that much easier!
Grandparents play a critical role in a child’s life, and not just as replacement nannies. Family units as a whole reap so much more benefits from grandparenting than you can imagine.
Read on to find out how grandparents contribute to the enrichment and building of strong familial bonds.
The number of dual-income families in Singapore has increased over the past decade. In 2020, the census report that 52.5% of married couples have both husbands and wives in the workforce (Ho, 2021).
With more young parents working, it is not unusual that grandparents are stepping into the sphere of grandparenting. However, grandparents play a far more critical role than just a daytime stand-in for busy working parents.
The presence of grandparenting not only bring benefits to children’s development and growth, but it also brings opportunities for fostering healthier and closer family relationships.
From parents to their parents: The only thing better than having you as my parents is my children having you as their grandparents.
Raising a child is not an easy thing for parents to do alone. Working parents can feel overwhelmed with stress juggling between their careers and child-rearing responsibilities. These stressors can also undermine the quality of marital relationships. When this happens, stress and negativity can easily influence the children (Prendeville & Kinsella, 2018).
This is where grandparents play a vital role in the family. Grandparents provide instrumental support such as helping fetch their grandchildren from the childcare, taking care of their meals, and monitoring them while their parents are busy with work. Besides instrumental support, grandparents serve a much-needed role in the family – providing emotional support for the overwhelmed parents (Prendeville & Kinsella, 2018).
By freeing time for parents to take time off, even a short two hours of respite can rejuvenate fatigued parents and enhance their emotional wellbeing (Prendeville & Kinsella, 2018). Parents who take care of their own needs are better able to care for their children!
Grandparents, like heroes, are as necessary to a child’s growth as vitamins.
Grandparents play an irreplaceable role in the growth of children. In a society that heavily emphasises nuclear families, having a close relationship with grandparents help children to feel a sense of belonging to a larger, extended family (Sandhu, 2017). As children mature, they also get to observe their parents’ relationship with their grandparents, broadening their understanding of family relationships.
Grandparents often provide the time, attention, and affection that working parents can’t afford to give their growing children (Sandhu, 2017). Children cared for by their grandparents spend their days doing meaningful activities, listening to enriching life stories and growing in the warmth of grandparents’ love. Importantly, the stability and security of a grandparents’ unconditional love are calming through the different challenges of a child’s life (Walker, 2015).
“But… I only know to cook them their favourite dishes, is there more I can do?”.
Unsure of how to start connecting with your grandchildren? Sign up for our Grandparent Triple P Seminar series today to connect with other grandparents and pick up some tips to make your grandparenting more enjoyable.
Register via https://go.fycs.org/TriplePGP or email us at [email protected] to find out more details about the seminars and how to be rewarded with $60 shopping vouchers by participating in an online evaluation study on grandparenting.
Written by: Abigail Lee, Intern, Fei Yue Community Services