In past generations it was typical to have family members around regularly and a part of daily family routines. Grandparents were a significant part of the family dynamic, and children grew up seeing their grandparents most of their childhood. I remember my grandma (Starka) was the one to get us ready for school as my parents were already at work, and she was also the one we would first see upon coming home. My other grandma (Babina) watched my sister and I at her home during summer breaks and school holidays in the countryside.

I have learned so much from my grandparents. Hearing their stories of how things used to be when they were younger, learning how to crochet and needlepoint, how to bake cookies, and how to care for chickens, cows, pigs, and sheep. I have so many great memories, and I’m so thankful to of had that time spent with them. My grandpa (Starik) passed away when I was just a toddler, but his memory still lives on in me through the stories I learned and pictures I cherish. My other grandpa (Deda) was so gentle, loving, and giving. He always brought us sweets when he came to visit. We lost him when I was a young teenager, but the memories are still very alive and treasured in my heart.

In today’s world since so many families live apart, sometimes in another city or continent, it is important to stay connected with grandparents as they play such a critical role in a child’s life. If the grandparents live so far away that regular visits are not possible, utilizing technology is one way to stay in touch and bridge the gap in the 21st century.

Quality time is very important. If you have the opportunity to spend time with your grandparents, or have your children spend time with them, don’t delay it. It’s a great bonding experience for the whole family, has so many benefits for the grandparents and their well-being, and of course the children as well. Plus, it will allow you to have a nice little break.

Happy grandparents to all the grandmas and grandpas out there! We love you and appreciate you!