MODERN GRANDPARENTING

It could be said mature folk are “chronologically advantaged” because we have so much to offer, not least of which is experience!
Many people age well and maintain strong bodies in later life having regularly looked after their health over the years. We’ve certainly no control over our destined life span, but we do have some control over the quality of life. Growing older is inevitable, but it’s not a disease and today people are living longer thanks to medical advances and a better standard of living. Typically women in the UK today can expect to enjoy some 30 years of life after menopause. I am a granny called GG (abbreviation of Granny Goddess, distinguishing me from other Grannies). Grans today are confident woman, many juggling careers and home life. They maintain appearances, develop interests, are often financially and emotionally independent and are interesting to know. Many expect to remain both physically and sexually active for many more years to come. However, too many Grandmas and Grandpas suffer from heart disease, stiff joints, osteoporosis and obesity, health related problems often caused by a lack of physical activity. We also appear to be spawning a generation of couch potato children, many of whom won’t be fit enough in their adult lives to support their parents yet alone sprightly grandparents in old age!

I have been blessed with 4 grandchildren (now young adults) who’ve made me acutely conscious of passing years and human fragility. This was highlighted 30 years ago as I coped with breast cancer, from which I’ve learnt to appreciate and live life to the full. Good health is a major step in helping to overcome problems, and enables us to pursue ambitions, hopes and dreams. As the old Arab proverb says, “He who has health has hope, and he who has hope has everything.”

Grandparents are likely to find themselves doing unusual things, sharing experiences with grandchildren they never thought possible at their age, activities usually reserved for parents. Many childish activities require stamina, and however fit, it’s easy to find yourself exhausted by the exuberant energy of youngsters the second time around! I regard it a privilege to be with my 4 grandchildren and look forward to special times, wonderful rewarding occasions from which we all benefit emotionally, For long distant grandparents it’s well worth a journey, writing a post card, sending an e-mail or text to keep in touch with those family and friends we love. We are so fortunate.