There’s something special about being a grandparent. The hugs, kisses, cuddles and love are so beautiful and if you’re lucky enough to experience it, then we’re sure that you absolutely love it. But there’s a whole lot of over 60s who aren’t so lucky. There are many people whose children choose not to have their own children or who simply can’t. There are others who couldn’t have children themselves. And for all of these types of people, this means that they will never know the joy of being a grandparent.
While this is a sad reality that a lot of us face, there are some beautiful ways that we can have the grandparenting experience, even if we don’t have our own grandchildren. So today we’re taking a look at some of these and how you can enjoy the happiness of grandparenting even if you don’t have your own grandkids.
Become an adopted grandparent
The first option that is available to us is to become an “adopted grandparent” – there are a variety of services around that can pair young families with older people. Two services are Adopt A Grandparent and Find a Grandparent. You can register to become a member of the service and then the organisation will help you to find a family match. There are benefits to the family and the grandparent in these cases with things like support from someone older, assistance in raising children and a grandparent relationship benefiting the family whereas the social support, grandchildren relationship and inclusion in family life are all benefits to a grandparent.
Become a pseudo great aunt and uncle of your friends’ grandkids
If you have close friends with grandchildren, why not see if they would be open to you having involvement in their grandchildren’s lives? It doesn’t have to be a full on relationship but just the support and love can be so enjoyable. Go to their sporting carnivals with your friends, send them birthday gifts and help with the school run if you’re needed. They are the small things that can give you a sense of the relationship and as long as your friend is happy for you to have this involvement, there’s no harm in it. Some of the most beautiful and respectful relationships are between a child and a grandparent’s friend.
Volunteer within the community
While it’s not a formal relationship, being a part of the local community can help us to build relationships with all sorts of people. While it isn’t forming a direct grandparent-grandchild relationship it does give us social connection and an ability to care for others – two things that are traditionally important in the relationship.
So regardless of whether you have grandchildren or not, don’t feel left out because the experience is there to be had. Make sure that you share this with your friends and family who aren’t so fortunate to have grandkids so they know there are options out there.
Tell us, do you have grandkids? If so, how often do you see them? If not, how do you create that kind of loving relationship in your life?