Grandparents have great knowledge of their own history and context, as well as their own family. Your wisdom is a very valuable treasure. Here I share some ideas to take advantage of them.
The grandfather as an accomplice and narrator
Grandpa Lalo calls his grandchildren and asks them to sit around him, on his bed, to tell them a story: «I’m going to tell you the story of a magical elephant that was that small (he puts his hands together leaving a small hole between them), that grows (moves his hands a little away), and grows (separates them more), grows, grows. » He pushes them further and further until his fully extended arms manage to throw the children on their backs, thus provoking a long laugh from the infants, upon realizing their grandfather’s joke.
Like this one, there are a thousand stories or games invented by grandparents to live with their descendants, in a mixture of voices, gestures, imagination and movement, anything that manages to draw a smile on their faces. They are so special that there are several prototypes. But still, their knowledge is seldom appreciated.
The grandfather, wise historian
Grandparents ‘roles are not limited to “protecting” their own parents’ grandchildren, nor are they limited to being “surrogate parents.” Grandparents have something else, something that only they can have and that they have built decade after decade: wisdom, which is not built only with books, but with experiences and years. For example, grandparents know about history because in the years they have lived they have seen many changes around them: ways of dressing, speaking, communicating, moving around writing … well, many things that they witnessed and, in some cases, they were protagonists.
Why not have a meeting where the grandparents of each family are listened to to learn their own story firsthand? Many grandparents keep countless memories such as a coin, a bill, a telephone, a book, a tape cassette, an LP record, a painting, old toys, etc. Anything treasured can serve to illustrate, as well as to know the history of each object.
The chronicler of generations
How well do grandchildren know about their parents’ childhood? Hasn’t it happened to you that your son eats the same as his father at his age and you didn’t know it? Have you discussed it as a family? It is always interesting to know details about your own parents, it is like traveling back in time with the fortune of knowing everything first-hand and with the opportunity to ask questions that help to explain doubts. If you want to have better results, it can be illustrated with photos where the whole family appears together so that together they remember details and anecdotes that allow them to relive memories.
The one who rescues ancient history
Was there ever a general, count, actor, singer, painter in your family? Are you sure? How many families really know their ancestors, even the most outstanding? For decades it has become increasingly common to make a family tree. Making the branches grow more and more is a complicated task, but with the help of grandparents, that task is simplified: a lot.
Many grandparents still had to hear about this from afar. So if you have that concern to know about your ancestors, it is not too late. Using technology you can create a family tree, so that it is not lost and can be preserved. With all this information, it will be easier to know who each member looks like and what abilities they may have inherited.
Each grandfather is like having a magic book: irreplaceable, with many pages full of stories and knowledge to share. If we do not take advantage of your presence, we will lose the opportunity to have unique references. It only remains to listen to them and give them their place as wise as they are.