The 5 Greatest Joys of Being a Grandparent According to Teresa Wolande
The relationship between a grandparent and a grandchild is like no other. For many people, one of the best things about retirement is that they can become more involved in family life. From attending your granddaughter’s soccer games to looking after your grandkids while your son and his partner take a vacation, there are plenty of ways to become a more active grandparent. Teresa Wolande knows firsthand all the benefits that come along with being a grandmother. Wolande is a current retiree living in Naples, Florida, who formerly served as the CFO of a large ambulatory company in the United States. Today, she considers herself to be an entrepreneur, avid golfer, safari lover, and above all, a family woman. Below, Teresa Wolande outlines the top five greatest joys of being a grandparent.
1. Witnessing Your Family Grow
There’s nothing quite like watching your family expand right before your very eyes, shares Teresa Wolande. It’s human nature to want to see your genes passed down through generations. But beyond that, being a grandparent means getting to witness the future unfold in front of you. You have the privilege of being there for every step of your grandchild’s life, watching their transformation from infant to toddler to child and then to adolescent and beyond. Not only will you get to discover their personalities and which parent or relative they end up looking like, but you’ll get to learn all of their little quirks, such as their favorite foods, mannerisms, and style of laughter.
2. Being in a Better Financial Situation
One of the benefits of being a grandparent comes with age. You’ve spent your life working, building a career, and as a result, are now in a stable financial situation. This is likely not the financial situation you were in when you had children of your own. With this safety net in the bank, you have more “fun” money, which you can spend on your grandchildren. As parents, much of your income is devoted to necessities, like clothing, food, and school supplies. But as a grandparent, you are free to use your money to spoil your grandkids. Plan a trip to the fair or movie theatre, buy them a special toy once in a while, or even organize a vacation.
3. Seeing Your Children Become Parents
You might think that being a grandparent is all about the relationship between you and your grandchild. However, Teresa Wolande asserts that there is something truly wonderful about watching your children become parents. Seeing your son or daughter turn into a thoughtful, loving parent is an unparalleled feeling. Many grandparents start to feel a sense of pride, not only because of their children’s accomplishments but because of their own accomplishments as parents. As you watch your child become a great parent, you can feel satisfied knowing that you were successful at raising the person who turned into this wonderful parent.
4. Love and Affection Without the Responsibilities of Being a Parent
It’s no secret that raising a child is hard work. It can be exhausting and frustrating all at once. It’s also a balancing act, as you are responsible for not only caring for your child but guiding, teaching, and disciplining them. As a grandparent, your responsibilities differ. Since you are not the child’s primary guardian, you get to experience a loving relationship with your grandchild without taking on typical parenting duties. For example, some of the less glamorous aspects of child-rearing, like changing diapers or assigning chores, are not your responsibility. According to Teresa Wolande, there is also a freeing aspect that comes with being a grandparent, as you’re able to devote your energy simply to loving and supporting your grandchild versus raising them.
5. A Burst of Energy
Most people become grandparents in their 50s and 60s. It is during this stage of your life that you may start to become less active and energetic. Luckily, grandkids, and their boundless vigor, serve as an excellent source of enthusiasm. When you’re around lively children, their energy is contagious. Although you may not be up to running around in the backyard for hours, having a grandchild in your life is guaranteed to provide a burst of mental and physical energy. More than that, children’s best traits, like their curiosity, lack of self-consciousness, and free-spirited nature, have the ability to rub off on those around them.