Personal Stories

The best thing about being a grandparent

Grandparents share their favourite parts about having grandchildren

What’s the best thing about being a grandparent? And what’s the secret to being great in this role? We asked the experts from our Granny and Gramps Panel, otherwise known as the wise seniors at Amica Senior Lifestyles residences.

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What's the best thing about being a grandparent?

“When they come to see you, of course!” – Alice

“When your grandchildren hug you, it makes you feel good.” – Win

“Keeping the family together. Everyone comes to Grandma’s, and you get to share the family tree and heritage to pass on to family members. Grandchildren also keep you up-to-date about jobs we are not familiar with. Careers today are different from the jobs that were available when we were growing up.” – Doris

“Seeing a sparkle in their eyes because they are happy to see you.” – Dolly

“I have really enjoyed my great-grandchildren because I had more time to spend with them. We did a lot of travelling while our grandchildren were young and we were in good health. Now I am not able to travel as much so I have more time to spend with my great-grandchildren.” – Betty

“Grandchildren make the family full and complete. It is wonderful to be able to share your love with them. We celebrate different occasions throughout the year together.” – Floyd & Dorothy

“Watching toddlers transition to teens.” – Ann

“It is reassuring to know the family will be continued on. When my grandchildren say ‘I love you, Grandma,’ this reflects the mutual love they share with one another.” – Pat

“Being loved by your grandchildren.” – Liliane

“When I am with my family in general, it makes me feel younger and it brings out my youth. I am proud to think that they have come from me.” – Sheila

“You have more time to enjoy your grandchildren than you did with your own children. You have inward joy to think your children have matured to become parents themselves. I enjoyed my role as a parent, which reflects the enjoyment I have as a grandparent as well.” –Doreen

“Getting nice little notes from them. I get them from different parts of the country, from California, and even England!” –Pat

“They really do love their grandparents.” –June

“Taking time to hear about their wants and hurts, the ones that they don’t want to tell their moms and dads. Grandma will never tell on them!” –Donnavean

“You can hand them back to their parents.” –Reg

What's your advice on how to be a wonderful grandparent? 

“Listen to them.” – Liliane

“Always try to keep the family close. I started a family reunion in 1980, on the American holiday at the end of May to allow any U.S. relatives to attend as well. This reunion has been held every year since then and is very well attended.” –Doris

“Show lots of loving.” – Dolly

“Don’t hound them. Help them out, give advice when asked, don’t tell them what to do!” – Ruth

“Show interest in them and praise them!” – Margaret

“Treat all the grandchildren the same, do not treat any one child as more special than another.” – Floyd & Dorothy

“Show lots of emotion and love; let them climb up on your lap.” – Win

“Keep involved with their activities. Spend as much time together as you can, even if it is only a few minutes. It is not the quantity of time, but the quality of time.” – Betty

“Be interested in the child’s welfare and interests.” – June

“Don’t try to make them do what you want them to do. Set a good example and guide them that way. You can offer advice and listen, but let them follow their heart. Let them know that although you may not always approve the choices they make, you will still always love them unconditionally.” –Pat

“Always be available when you’re needed.” – Donnavean

“When grandchildren come over, let them do something different that they don’t do at home. I used to let my little granddaughter have her lunch in front of the television to watch the cartoons just for something special and she never did this at home.” – Doreen

“Don’t interfere with their parents!” – Alice

“Sit back and wait for them to come to you. Don’t force them: adults can be overwhelming to little children. Love them, but don’t spoil them. While walking home from school we would stop and visit my grandma, who used to give us treats and baked goods. Unfortunately, we would not be very hungry when supper was served since Grandma had already fed us snacks!” – Sheila

“Patience, especially if you’re baby-sitting!”– Ann

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