As parents of young children, some of us are very fortunate to have helpful grandparents who are eager to help out. Especially in this economy, a free night of babysitting with someone you trust implicitly is priceless. It is also wonderful to watch the bond your children form with your parents. There truly is nothing like that relationship. Grandparents are supposed to spoil the grandkids – that’s their job. And these two generations should love each other unconditionally.
By the same token, grandparents make wonderful classroom helpers. We’ve had fabulous grandparents in our classroom over the years who have found ways to lend a helping hand. One year, the students’ mothers and fathers were slow to help out. Fortunately, there was one particular mom who came in whenever asked, and as a bonus, she’d bring her mother, too. What a treat that was, having three generations of a family together, visiting the petting farm or helping the class bake cookies. Grandma was a fabulous baker who knew how to work a toddler crowd. She would teach the children silly songs as they helped her add ingredients into the mixing bowl. So she wouldn’t have to remember all of their names, she made up nicknames for each child, many of which stuck. Precious Penny, Haircut, and Angel Lips were among my favorites.
Granny, as our entire class affectionately called her, always had a surprise for the children when she’d come to visit. Once, she made crocheted hand puppets for each child. They were individual and unique and the kids were thrilled to receive such a special gift. Other times, she’d slip each child a Hershey Kiss, in a way that seemed like magic.
While every child loved Granny, watching the pride her actual granddaughter felt as she shared this woman with her friends was delightful to witness. Whenever Granny’s name came up, she would beam. Granny has actually been back to visit our classroom on occasion, even though she no longer has a grandchild in our class. All of the children adore her and we are lucky to have her.
So enjoy, appreciate, and invite your parents to share in your children’s lives. Everyone will appreciate their love and support.