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Raising your children close to their grandparents might be the best thing you can do for them

Remember me, though I have to say goodbye
Remember me, don’t let it make you cry
For even if I’m far away, I hold you in my heart
I sing a secret song to you each night we are apart
Remember me, though I have to travel far
Remember me, each time you hear a sad guitar
Know that I’m with you the only way that I can be
Until you’re in my arms again, remember me

The song in the animation movie “Coco” is poignantly and hauntingly sung by little Miguel as the tune that triggers his beloved but dying grandmother into remembering. To remember one’s past fondly is merely one of the many benefits of raising your children close to their grandparents. Grandparents can play a huge part in the lives of children, and unless you have had such a traumatic childhood with your parents that you are left feeling used and abused, here are reasons to let your parents into your children’s lives:

1. Build life-long memories

Unnecessary but absolutely yummy after-meal treats with grandpa, late nights due to watching too much T.V. with grandma, and gifts galore without reason! These are but some memories that our children will hold dear in their hearts long after they have grown up.

2. Teach our children how to respect their elders

The way we treat our parents will show our children how they should treat us in future. Being extra patient when a grandparent takes too long finishing a meal teaches our children that time sometimes needs to pause for life to catch up, and it’s OK to wait a little longer.

3. Another person to kiss the injured toe

Having grandparents around is another source of love, comfort and a sense of protection for children. When a child stubs his toe (again) on the leg of the sofa, there’s nothing like running to grandma’s arms to cry a little more than usual and get a kiss on the injured toe, no matter how disgusting or smelly that toe may be.

4. Aging becomes real and something not to be feared

Growing old can be an extremely challenging process, both for the young to see and the old to experience. Seeing a grandparent lose a motor skill that previously was second nature, or go through extreme memory loss helps our children appreciate their youth and all they have around them for the moment.

All in all, there may be difficult dynamics in getting the family together and it’s certainly easier to go for a casual Sunday afternoon meal in a mall with your children, but taking that extra effort to bring along their slow, aging but treasured grandparents may take more trouble but will pay off in the long term.

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