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The 5 best things about having a grandparent in your life.

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Thanks to our brand partner, Lego

Mamamia has teamed up with LEGO® DUPLO® to celebrate Grandparents Day on Sunday October 25. On this special day we say a big thank you to all the grandparents and celebrate their contributions to our lives, from their wisdom to their creativity.

One of my absolute best memories as a primary school kid were Tuesdays, when my nanna would pick my brother and I up from school.

We'd slide into the back of her car and she’d drive us five minutes down the road to the local milk bar where we’d order chocolate milkshakes and hot chips covered in chicken salt and slathered in tomato sauce and tell her all about our days.

Mum and dad NEVER bought us chocolate milkshakes and hot chips on a Tuesday. It was just one of those awesome things about spending time with Nanna. 

I was extremely fortunate that my favourite purveyor of hot food and sugary drinks kicked on well into her late 90s and my memory from primary school now sits snugly alongside another two; my nanna meeting my children, and my parents becoming grandparents themselves.

My kids are now the lucky ones to have four amazing grandparents in their lives. Two here in Australia (my parents) and two over in the UK. And, after I shared the ‘hot chip and milkshake’ story with them, we came up with our own list of reasons why having Nanna and Poppa in our lives is awesome.

There's always good things in Nanna's cupboard... Image: Supplied. 

1. They’ve always got time to play and never do boring chores.

When Nanna and Poppa arrive for the day, the kids know that they’re about to get a whole heap of undivided attention and that is (almost) as good as the perfect hot chip. A lot of everyday parenting is juggling the constant needs of a household with those of a group of small humans, and while you’d love to dedicate the day to building an epic new LEGO DUPLO construction set, there’s also the fact that everyone requires clean(ish) clothes.

While the grandparents naturally have those responsibilities the rest of the time, when they’re with the kids they're free of them, which means play, and lots of it, is on the agenda. They’ll build the LEGO crane, THEN THEY’LL PLAY WITH IT. For ages. Without needing to put something in the oven or hang out a load of socks.. Amazing.

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2. They love listening to stories about everything.

My kids, like many, enjoy a chat (they must, ahem, get it from their dad). They also have extremely vivid imaginations and the older two have a plethora of burning questions and big ideas. From homemade bottle rockets to musings about the universe to why there’s always a pair of shoes over the power lines, they want to do it and discuss it. And who better to get amongst it than the grandparents, the keepers of all the stories?

And with the technological literacy my older kids possess, they can really get into a research task alongside Nanna and Poppa who are only too happy to help shape young minds and listen to the stories that I’ve heard a couple of (thousand) times. And, thanks to the miracle of FaceTime and Zoom, the story-sharing joy can be related across oceans, all the way to the UK.

3. They help fill the parenting gaps.

Up high with Pop. Image: Supplied. 

We all have our ‘parenting gaps’; areas where we know we might be lacking in the knowledge stakes. And while we do what we can, having another adult who actually properly knows and understand that area is worth its weight in gold.

I may be exceptionally lucky in this instance as my parents are both retired primary school teachers which means a whole lot of help when it comes to pre-school and school stuff. Sometimes (often?) I do take advantage of the fact that my dad is WAY better at Year 3 maths and my mum is a whizz at sight words.

They totally ‘get it’ in the way only someone who has taught it for years and years can, AND they make it fun.

But it doesn't matter whether they've been a teacher or a mechanic or a nurse; the life experience of those older than us, who have 'been there, done that' is absolutely invaluable and has been such a gift for my children and I.

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4. They add a whole new layer of love to our family.

My kids are lucky enough to have two loving parents in their lives with their grandparents the whipped cream on top of the love sundae. When I asked my kids how much they thought their Nanna and Poppa loved them, the unanimous reply was “heaps, like a load.” 

The love they get from their grandparents is slightly different from that of their dad or I but, like the love we have for them, they know it is unconditional. Knowing you are loved unconditionally, regardless of what you do and say, is a powerful thing and I like to think that these layers of love help to wrap my kids in an understanding of how special they are and will hopefully help provide some insulation from all the things that life will throw at them.

5. They do the stuff that mum and dad can’t (or, sometimes, won’t).

From the zoo to the aquatic centre to scooter rides, there are a bunch of activities my kids are lucky enough to experience with their grandparents.

As a busy family of five, some things just aren’t always possible; financially, geographically, physically, the list goes on. 

One of the greatest parts of having grandparents who are so actively involved is the activities they often choose to do with the kids. It allows them to experience new places, people and things that may otherwise have not been possible. 

And it’s not just the big (expensive) stuff either. It’s exploring a new playground during the school holidays or taking a walk at dusk to check out Christmas lights. Sunrise swims and filling a box each year of ‘Operation Christmas Child’.

The kids and I are always so grateful for all the amazing adventures they have with their grandparents.

What are the best things about having a grandparent in your child's life? Share with us below.

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MMSurvey
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