Sunday 4 October marks Grandparent’s Day here in the UK. In fact, it is 30 years since Age UK introduced the day back in 1990.
Grandmother, Judith understands how very important her role is to her grandchildren and how she enhances their lives. She understands how positive interactions impact on the growth of her grandchildren’s brains such as child-led play, a healthy lifestyle, communicating at their level and being able to help regulate their emotions.
This is why Judith and her business partner, Liz Ranson have set up Older Yet Wiser workshops for grandparents through their Community Interest Company, ChildsSide. The workshops help grandparents have a greater impact on their grandchildren’s lives by providing up to date information on brain neurobiology and demonstrating fun, creative and engaging ways that grandparents can interact with their grandchildren.
Judith and Liz have received funding through Better Start Bradford’s Innovation Fund to run the workshops in Bowling and Barkerend, Bradford Moor and Little Horton from 2021.
In this blog Judith discusses what today’s UK grandparent looks like.
Judith’s Grand Story
You see me out there, don’t you? Pushing the pram, at the school gate, and taking up new courses. There are over 14 million of us in the UK. Many are of us are taking on more responsibilities in the lives of our families. We have realised that one of the greatest opportunities we have for enriching our lives and those of our families is to get up to speed with modern ideas and help our grandchildren even more.
When I was a young child, I often visited my grandma across town. We baked delicious cookies together, explored the flower garden, and went shopping for secret gifts for my parents. She offered an important relationship that brought a special level of wisdom and love to our family.
As a grandparent today, I have a similar role, and yet there is so much more. I listen to my granddaughter, contributing to her emotional growth. I play games with her, encouraging her creativity. I pass on my stories, showing her what it is to be resilient. I share what I have learned and watch her get excited with new knowledge. I have realised that I have the power to bring more empathy, understanding, love and attachment to my grandchild’s life.
Many grandparents not only provide their family with emotional support, but often financial and practical help too. They are giving the gift of hours of their day, filling a gap in childcare as parents return to work. But what does that mean for the developing child, whose earliest years are proven to be the most important?
What if grandparents understood more about what their adult children are discovering – the amazing information on brain development and the importance of emotional connections? What if they could gain new practical skills and tools to help when they are ‘helping out’? What if their applied knowledge meant a more resilient adult grandchild would thrive in this fast-paced modern world? What could make us prouder?
I am pleased that my grandchild can bake, but also that I can still contribute to some of the most important attributes that can result in a more capable adult. I am excited about the new developments in our shared world, and the connections and benefits it will bring to my family relationships and across our generations.
We are beyond excited that we can bring Older Yet Wiser workshops to Better Start Bradford grandparents. We will be sharing up-to-date information on our fascinating brains, emotional balance, the power of play, the world of communication, problem solving tools, and building resilience.
Older Yet Wiser – it’s a place where we together explore how grandparents can be even wiser for their grandchildren.
About Older Yet Wiser
The six-week two-hour sessions help grandparents understand what they can do to make a greater impact on a grandchild’s life and enable them to contribute to their social and emotional wellbeing. The coursework and group activities give the tools that enhance your relationship, whilst sharing up-to-date knowledge on giving children the best start in life.
A free educational gift is given after every session including puppets, bubbles, play dough, art materials, and instruments.
Older Yet Wiser workshops will be starting early 2021. In the meantime you can hear more from ChildsSide during Baby Week Bradford because they are delivering a Childhood Transition Tips for Grandparents Webinar on Thursday 12 November 2020 10:00am to 12:00noon. More information about Baby Week can be found at www.babyweekbradford.org.