What is so specific about a grandmother?

Children need to rely on their elders. Having grandparents you can talk to makes you want to grow old. Sometimes the grandmother is a confidante. Children say things to her that they cannot tell their parents, if they know that she is not going to repeat what she said. At any age, grandchildren need advice, a grandmother has more perspective.

However, it is important to mark the difference between generations. A granny is not a friend, she is a grandmother, from the generation above the parents. It establishes respect, both distance and closeness, it is important to structure a child.

The grandchildren also want to make her talk, that she tells the story of the generation before: “What was it like when my parents were little?” “. Grandparents know a lot. Knowledge that will disappear when they leave. The world has changed, and so have customs. What grandparents say may seem surreal to them. When they talk about their youth, they really like it. It is also about the transmission of a vocabulary that has changed. It may seem funny or outdated, “has-been” or “too much” to them. It is all these differences that are constructive.

How is the role of a grandmother different from that of a mother or father?

A grandmother does not have the responsibility and the burden of everyday life. She has more perspective and can share the best. Parents for their part are caught up in problems of work, logistics, etc. Sometimes she shows herself to be a better grandmother than she was a mother because she herself was very busy. No longer available, she makes up for it with her grandchildren. She can have activities with them that parents do not have time to offer, such as taking them to the theater for example or giving them a taste for reading.

If family conflicts between the parents of the child and the grandparents arise, a grandmother should not speak ill of their parents, it is counterproductive, it creates conflicts of loyalty for the child.

It has a role of transmission to fulfill. As she is often less in a hurry, she has more time to tell the story of the generations.

illustration adobe stock 1614851007 - "The grandmother is a confidante"
Adobe Stock Illustration

How does intergenerational transmission take place?

It happens in both directions. For aging grandparents, having grandchildren also means letting oneself be educated. Since the arrival of new technologies, the digitization of society, grandchildren can show things to their elders, so that they stay in the know (knowing how to use Zoom, send an SMS, use WhatsApp, etc. ). With the Covid-19 pandemic, this is essential. Because if grandparents do not see their grandchildren and do not know how to use a computer to call them on video, their isolation can be a terrible injury. They see themselves getting old and feel useless. Being in contact with their grandchildren gives meaning to their life.

Grandmothers transmit a generational culture, weave indelible emotional bonds, a common thread between generations. It is an oral transmission which can pass through stories, tales, recipes for good meals, games. Passing on know-how, laughing together, awakening to poetry. It is about sharing moments of pleasure. More than the activity, the important thing is the quality of presence, availability.