Happy Grandparents Day

Beth Pinyerd

By Beth Pinyerd

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.” Ecclesiastes 3:1.

This past year the pandemic has brought an awareness for us that family and friends’ relationships are all that truly matter. We experienced and endured the pandemic together, connecting us inter-generationally.

So from the hearts of parents, children and the community we want to say Happy Grandparents’ Day. This Sunday, Sept. 12 is declared as “National Grandparents Day!” Grandparents come in all kinds of forms and ways. We might be a biological grandparent, a foster child grandparent, a god grandparent, a person in the community who reaches out to children as a grandparent or like me, my son has two dogs and he claims me right now to be a “Grand Dog Mother”. 

We can thank Marian McQuade for beginning a campaign to establish a national day to honor grandparents. President Jimmy Carter declared the first day after Labor Day to be “National Grandparents Day”. The official flower is the Forget-Me-Not and the song is Johnny Prill’s “A Song for Grandma and Grandpa”.

To serve in the grandparent role in any capacity is such a blessing. From Classroom Observer’s heart, my grandparents were like “frosting on the cake to me”. Memories of how they spent time listening to me, talking to me and unconditionally loving me has enriched my life in warm memories. Our world and the demands to make a living, raise a family and to carry on with all our daily responsibilities can be overwhelming. This is where grandparents can help so much in spending time with their grandchildren and give them a sense of security. Young children feel such true love from their grandparents. This relationship emerges into a friendship. Children feel more confident and secure when grandparents spend time with them. I can remember like it was yesterday that my grandfather would take off work to come pick me up from kindergarten and walk me just across the street to our duplex apartment and have lunch with his granddaughter.

 When I am in the classroom, I love to see children’s eyes light up when grandparents are there to pick them up. When distance in miles separates grandchildren from grandparents, there are older people in the community or churches who might just love to help a young family in this way.  You just have to ask for this help as a young family. I did just that when my family lived in South Alabama away from grandparents and family. My neighbors played grandparent role for my son in helping me. They attended school programs, special award programs, gifted him with their time and love. This made a lasting impression for my son. Too, children can FaceTime with their grandparents. Families can plan to eat meals together with FaceTime. Grandparents can enjoy watching their grandchildren do different projects and watch them growing up virtually.

Children can prepare special mail package surprises to send to their grandparents of pictures they have colored, crafts they have completed and photos of daily activities they have done at school or home. Grandparents love to be included in the lives of their grandchildren.

Grandparents bring so much history and experience into a relationship with a grandchild.  Because of life’s experiences, its ups and downs, grandparents can provide a strong physical, emotional and loving support. Grandchildren love to hear stories of when their parents or grandparents were young and growing up. They love to hear stories of the “good old days”. Grandparents can share a lot of wisdom of life experiences that worked for them and what didn’t work for them. 

Time spent with a grandchild or grandchildren spells LOVE! They can share family history with their grandchild in giving them a sense of belonging. They understand the importance of doing activities with grandchildren such as reading a favorite book, drawing pictures together, putting a puzzle together, playing “pretend”, putting together model cars or planes. As a classroom teacher, I invited grandparents to help on field trips, class parties, read books to the class or engage in holiday crafts with their grandchildren. As a teacher, I was deeply touched when many of these grandparents would even flex their work schedules because they knew how important it was for them to be available for their grandchildren. The wonderful truth about being a grandparent is that we truly love our role. Grandchildren can bring pure happiness and joy to grandparents. Cherish this Sunday, Sept. 12 as young grandchildren outreach to their grandparents.

Beth Pinyerd
Classroom Observer


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