At This Time in Our Lives, We Baby Boomer’s Need to Realize One of Our Most Important Roles Is Mentoring Our Grandchildren
Guest post by Gramps Jeffrey, author of “I Don’t Want to Turn 3”
I remember celebrating my father’s 60th birthday, and I did not say this out loud, but definitely thought “he is an old man”. But he lived close to another three decades and I am glad he did. His father (my grandfather) was not as lucky, and he died at the age of 49.
Now that we Baby Boomers are in our 60’s and 70’s and beyond, it’s my observation that we just don’t seem as old as our parents when they were our current age. Perhaps this fortune is caused by modern science — or perhaps we just lose our eyesight and think we look better than we actually do…
I am glad that my dad stuck around a few more decades, because as he aged, I saw a different dad than I had seen when I was growing up. Back then he, as with many fathers of that time, was often caught choosing work over family. Over the years, he had time to reflect on the ethics of life and the true importance of family.
Now that we have become our families’ older generation, can we look back and distinguish when we began to take responsibilities for our actions? Can we look back and figure out when we strived to understand the difference between “me and us” or how to “share”?
Grandparents today are more important than ever. With more and more broken families, meaning single moms and single dads raising our grandkids, it is truer than ever that it takes a village to raise a child. Even in a traditional two-parent family, the stresses of work, social media, the Internet, peer pressure and now Covid, mean that our kids need our help in raising a complete child.
We need to make sure we take an active role in molding this newest generation, into a society that surpasses us Baby Boomers. I happen to be a children’s book author, so my passion is to get us to read to the grandkids. Reading helps create bonding with this new generation, because it is a quiet way to spend time together and strengthen our relationships. It also supports listening skills, which as adults we know may be the most important skill we learn.
Further, reading aloud helps with cognitive and language development, expanding the number and variety of words they learn and use. And perhaps most importantly, it helps develop a longer attention span, which allows our grandkids to improve key concentration and self-discipline skills.
Reading aloud is just one thing you can do with your grandkids. You might also take your children’s children to a ball game, teach them to kick a ball, show them how to play an instrument, take them bowling for the first time, or invite them to help you bake your famous chocolate chip cookies. Just spending quality time with your grandkids when their parents are harried with work and life, will make a difference as they mature and make the daily decisions of what is right and what is wrong.
We are at the age where we cannot be selfish anymore. We need to “share” what the Greatest Generation taught us; and what we have all learned as growing older leads us to understand the need to share our wisdom.