Who has the time to focus on a child’s emotional and developmental needs? Certainly oftentimes not the parent. Most parents are frazzled, living on the edge of exhaustion and deep into multi-tasking. Parents are of course responsible for all the basics that a child needs. They provide the housing, the trips to the pediatrician, the late night soothing after a bad dream, the trips to the mall for school clothing, and most of the daily needs that children have, such as getting a ride to school, and sitting at the table for dinner.
But who has the time for the magical moment with a child? Who has the time to really listen to what she is saying and even write it down, next to a digital picture of the moment when it was said? Probably not the child’s mom or dad. And who has the time to help her develop the social and intellectual skills she really will need to be a good citizen?
Most likely it will be the grandparent. That is, if you realize how important you are, and you take the time to step up to the plate. It is you who can have the magical moments with your grandchild-find those flowers to press and start the rock collection and sit in the window seat chatting about how it was to grow up long ago. And in grabbing those magical moments you do something else. You will be doing a great service to the next generation. You will be helping them grow in three basic ways that no one else in the world may have the time or patience to attend to. Here they are:
1.You can help her develop her curiosity. Nothing stirs the mind to be curious than someone else so fascinated by a subject that you just have to learn more. You have the time to be fascinated and to pass that feeling along. For example, just learning how to grow tomatoes in a barrel can be interesting and exciting for both you and your grandchild. Or you could have a neighbor that speaks in sign language and be determined to learn some. And that curiosity that you have will rub off on your grandchild. She will be interested in others as she grows up. She will see the world as a multi-faceted marvelous place that you have helped her notice!
2. You can help your grandchild develop her intellect. Whether you live around the corner or thousands of miles away, you can send your grandchild books, interesting articles, puzzles, games, etc. And you can make sure that when you are with her you teach her lots of stuff. You can discuss the news, find countries on the globe, play word and number games, read plays aloud. All is good for developing the mind and expanding the mind so that your grandchild will think beyond her direct environment.
3. You can help your grandchild develop her social skills. You have the time to teach her manners-how to set a table. How to open a door for grown-ups. You can take her out to eat, even if it is at the local diner. And you can teach her how to read a menu, eat with intention and enjoyment, make good conversation as she eats, etc. You can teach her how to ballroom dance. Or maybe square dance. You can take her to meet your friends or to do good needs. She can help you at the local food canteen or socialize with your friends.
And what is the result? Your grand child will grow up to be a fine, caring, knowledgeable person with a desire to help others and be able to socialize with people of all ages. Not a bad accomplishment!