When your grandchildren forget about you… 103



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Over a coffee with my oldest friend Maree last week, I couldn’t help but gush about how great my grandkids were. Maree and I went to high school together many years ago and have raised our families and treasured our grandkids together so this wasn’t anything new.

“…On Tuesday Anna and her new boyfriend came to visit and they brought freshly made muffins which was lovely then on Wednesday night Ben stopped in after his first university lecture and stayed for a quick dinner”.

I have been blessed with a family that truly treasures the value of family but I realise some have not been so lucky.

While my grandchildren have begun to grow up, they haven’t stopped visiting. They call in to see me, they invite me over for dinner and they even invite me out for coffee and cake (yes, that is my treat but I’m sure that’s not the only reason I get an invite!).

But after I had gushed about my fabulous family to Maree she seemed shocked… “They come over just to visit? Spontaneously? With their friends?”

“…Yes.” I replied like it was totally normal and her questioning was absurd.

Maree went on to tell me that her grandson, who is the same age as Anna, only makes contact on birthdays or special occasions. He doesn’t even turn up to some family occasions.

And her other grandson, just a year younger than my Ben, still in grade 12 at school hardly speaks to her and chooses not to tell her about functions and events she could attend like his final school rugby or volleyball matches.

Sometimes, when I go along loving my own life and enjoying the family I have, I forget that some others aren’t so lucky.

According to Grandparents.com, 90 per cent of grandparents that participated in a 2011 survey reported they loved talking to others about their grandkids, but what about the 10 per cent that don’t love it? The same survey reported that 92 per cent of grandparents have changed their grandchildren’s nappies, but what happens when they grow up, don’t need you and they begin to forget about you?

I am in no way special. I simply love my grandchildren and am there for them whenever, no matter what so I don’t know why I am blessed to have beautiful relationships with each of them. But, it could come back to the important we place on the value of family.

Perhaps families are forgetting about family?

I lost my father very young, but while I was growing up, every Friday night we would have a family dinner. And I mean the whole family. Even those who weren’t related to us at all would turn up!

It was held at our house in East Brisbane and my mother and uncle would cook for every family member and about four friends for each child. Our dinners were known throughout the neighbourhood and they were incredibly fun.

We would laugh and talk and the anticipation leading up to every Friday night was huge. We loved our family nights and perhaps having regular time together is what showed us the value of family.

Family car trips are silent these days, everyone preoccupied on their iPhone or iPod and families today don’t eat together. When Anna was in grade eight I can remember her telling us that she was one of four students in her class of 27 that ate dinner at a table with her family every night.

It shocked me, but it made me realise that without the small family memories like eating together or taking car trips together and talking, children aren’t taught to value family.

I hope that families can begin to move with the changing times without forgetting the importance of family. I hope they realise a little family time goes a long way in teaching children to value family and hopefully, grandparents like Maree and so many others won’t be forgotten.


What is your relationship with your grandchildren like? Do you sometimes feel forgotten or are you lucky to be close? Tell us your story in the comments below… 

Guest Contributor

  1. I am one of the lucky ones my girls are 18 and 16 still see or talk with them nearly every day We live in the same.t town and.so can do things together

  2. Mine are only 12,10 and 7 so still come to visit with Mum and Dad, however they choose to ring me when they get some sort of recognition and I love it. I think that love and attention are the greatest gifts we can give to our grandchildren

  3. As with your own kids, you can’t turn back the time so enjoy time with them when u can. They grew up so fast. I have a great relationship with my kids and grand kids.

  4. Yes this is so sad and I t oo see this and hear this quite often… I am a hands-on grandmother with 12 yr old and 15 yo grand daughters. They still love spending “time” with me and say so.. WE talk about everything, I even help the eldest with her lengthy projects on weekends sometimes. I have talked to them about when they get older and have boyfriends and of course their friends, of which they have quite a few. The are my only grand children and so I have the time to dote on them… They realise a lot, but I believe if you teach your children the value of family from when they are young, they wont steer away too far… Respect has to be taught and learned and its a gradual process.. Parents today, a lot of them, never say no to their children, and it shows. We need to get back to the basics or the family unit will be lost altogether.

  5. I think the writer has a valid point but I think it is also up to the grandparents to be proactive in maintaining the relationship. Be present. Don’t wait for invitations. Cook for them once a week. Food is always difficult for a teenager to resist. My grandchildren are still pre=teen but I am going Christmas shopping with the 12 YO tomorrow and I don’t plan to relinquish opportunities such as this if I can possibly avoid it. Also being around to make graduation dresses and ball dresses should serve as a hook (should one be needed).

  6. My four year old grandson is sleeping at the foot of our holiday apartment bed as I type this on a makeshift bed. We’re blessed to have him stay four nights this time – it was three last time in July for his birthday – and we’re having a wonderful time enjoying the Christmas season through his innocent eyes. Took him into Melbourne City yesterday to look at the festive displays and to see the movie Paddington – love making precious memories to cherish forever with this little tyke. Hopefully our relationship will stay strong but I believe it’s what you put into a relationship that makes it lasting.

    2 REPLY
    • So very true, we have a good relationship with our 4 grandsons and hope that will continue as they get older. We are very lucky that our children still care about us and include us in their lives. We are going on a cruise with our son and daughter in law and their four sons and are really looking forward to that.

  7. I’m blessed! My 10yo has regular sleepovers and the babies not yet 2 come swimming with me every wednesday. I’m a cancer survivor so my family is my driving force. They ARE my life. But you have to make the effort too.

    3 REPLY
    • I’m a cancer survivor too. Makes you really appreciate your family and time spent with them. Have a great Christmas with your family Christine (and the other Christine). Mine are all coming to breakfast Christmas morning, including three of my four grandchildren (youngest is two and away on holiday with her mum and dad), then they will do their own thing. Xx

  8. Sometimes I can’t believe I’m in my 60s my kids 40 and the GKid not babies anymore, my parents have gone. Don’t waste a minute of life because it just keep marching on.

    1 REPLY
  9. I spend a lot of time with my grandkids. My daughter has 3, my son has two. My youngest do isn’t married. We will have them up at our permanent on site mobile home over Xmas. They have been coming up there since they were babies & have made friends with the kids up there & have z ball in the caravan park. My daughter paid me the biggest compliment last week. I was having the eldest Blake, who is 13 for the day. He could have gone to friends places for the day & she said “I already know he would take going with you, over going with them.” Now I know that won’t last forever……. So I treasured every moment of that fun day with him!!! I have so much fun & joy with each one of them & have so many great memories!!!!! Love being a kid with them, I feel blessed!

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