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What Is Our Role as Grandparents?

Category: Family and Retirement

April 7, 2022 – A few weeks ago I attended a concert by Ellis Delaney, a folk singer and songwriter with a lovely voice and inspiring lyrics.  “You’re Royalty to Me” is one of her best songs, in my opinion.  It is a tribute to her grandmother, her main source of support growing up. Ellis spoke about the great times they had together, playing cards and enjoying each other’s company, and most of all experiencing unconditional love. The song’s message gave me goosebumps, particularly from this line: “I am who I am because I was loved by a queen”. You can read the beautiful lyrics to the song here.

Wow, that song seemed like a direct message about our potential as grandparents. Sure, savoring the joy these kids bring to life can be pretty great. But this song is a message that grandparenting is bigger than just enjoying them.  To me, it shows that if we can be a  reliable source of unconditional love and support, we might make a difference in their lives, just like Ellis’s grandma did. That extends to supporting the parents, who face incredible pressures in trying to raise children in this age, even before Covid. 

Hearing this song had special meaning for me as I prepared for an upcoming trip with my grandkids and their parents. Maybe I could try extra hard to be there for them all the time, not just in the easy moments, but in the harder times as well. If so, perhaps I could leave a legacy – someday they might say to themselves, “I know Grampy  loved me, and that made me happy”.

What do you think?

If you have grandchildren or expect to have them, what are your hopes and goals? Are things working out the way you want with them – what is going well and what is not going so great? Please share your experiences and thoughts in the Comments section below.

On a personal note:

Callum and Grampy

Your editor just spent a ski week with his 3 very young and highly spirited grandchildren. Thea, Henry, and Callum range in age from almost 6 to 3 months (Cal didn’t do much skiing!).  It was a wonderful time to be with them, although there were plenty of tears too. Thanks to Ellis’s song, it was also a great time for reflection on my role as a grandparent. I am curious to hear about others’ experiences and expectations with the next generation. Please let us know in the Comments section below.

Posted by Admin on April 6th, 2022


  1. This same article applies (albeit to a much lesser degree) to childless folks who have close relationships with nieces and nephews. The wife and I won’t make a “where to live” decision based on their proximity but we do have them vacation with us from time to time.

    Nieces/nephews or grandnieces/nephews are like grandchildren as we do all the fun stuff with them/spoil them and then hand them back. When they were children we would babysit during their parents date night or keep them for a long weekend while the parents went to Vegas and now that they are adults we have them vacation with us.

    by Danno — April 7, 2022

  2. Laff with them. Laff for them & Laff at yourself!!
    & take them Home to their Parent’s!!
    & as you back out of Parent’s Driveway.
    & say “Got Even!!”
    HaHa!! Too Funny!!

    PS: Do not have the Grandmother with you
    as you will have Sore Ears for the Next Year!!
    Trust me on this!!

    by BillyBogey — April 7, 2022

  3. What lucky kids and grandkids you have! Lovely article and thank you for introducing me to Ellis Delaney – wow! No grandkids yet so will spend more time listening to lovely folk singers 😉

    by Lisa — April 7, 2022

  4. Another interesting experience for a grandpa:

    by Editor — April 8, 2022

  5. We were unable to have kids, thus no grandchildren. But we love kids. Does anyone have experience with a foster grandparent program or can explain how they work?

    by Clyde — April 8, 2022

  6. Your post Clyde, had me recalling a lovely grandmother that volunteered her time at the school that my children attended. She listened to and helped the children that needed extra help learning how to read. If the public schools don’t allow it, you could try charter or private schools. They are usually more open to volunteers.

    by CAP — April 10, 2022

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