Communication, key to stronger bond between grandparents and grandchildren

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 10 Sep 2017 09:10:40


By Twinkle Thakur and Kalyani Dandekar,

FUN and frolic during summer vacations, leisurely evening stroll in parks, toffees and chocolates, warmth of love, praise for even the smallest good deed... All these things are synonymous with the company of grandparents in childhood.
It is a bond beyond words. It is an understanding without words. However, the gap in ‘understanding’ widen as one grows up. The grandparents keep wondering what has gone wrong and the grandchildren keep stressing, “You will not understand.”

Who is at fault? Grandparents? Grandchildren? Or, is it something else?
As the nation celebrates Grandparents’ Day on Sunday, ‘The Hitavada’ struck conversation with some representatives of grandparents and grandchildren, searching for the reasons in this ‘generation gap’. The reasons varied but it all boiled down to the lack of adequate time for good communication.

Communication remained the necessary element to deepen understanding of each other’s concerns as the grandparents and grandchildren stressed the need of quality time together.

Manorama Dhamnaskar, a grandmother, pointed out that children nowadays are busy with their education and other activities. They invest their idle time on their gadgets. “This leaves inadequate time to communicate with us and sort out the differences, if any, and deepen understanding between the two generations,” she lamented.

Sakshi Bharadwaj, a 22-year-old representing the grandchildren, added her perspective. She said, she was willing to accept the latest clothing trends and the best fashion available but her grandmother raised objections. “At first, I did not like it. But, then discussing the issue, I understood that she was thinking about it from the point of my safety while returning from college or classes. Communication holds the key,” she added.

Another grandmother, Kamlabai Shinde, felt that the simplicity of thoughts during childhood is lost because there is no communication. “Even when my grandchildren were young we used to scold them or ask questions, but they never took offence. Sadly, today, the teens feel we are meddling in their affairs. But, I am sure that better communication can be a solution,” she stressed.

Sulochana Ekbote, a grandmother, also believed in communication. “Once a week, I make sure that all the family members, especially me and my grandchildren, sit together and have a chat. Even now, I share my experiences with them and make them share theirs. This has kept me updated with new ideas of new generation. My grand-daughter has even formed a Facebook account for me so that I could stay connected and updated very well about how she is enjoying her hostel life and social life,”
she elaborated.

Bhagyashree Naidu, a grandchild, also felt that sharing with grandmother was a wonderful experience. “Her cool attitude makes it easier to communicate with her,” she said. Of course, there are youngsters like her who have fond memories of childhood days they spent with their grandparents.
“I have many fond memories from childhood and my
grandmother used to help me in my studies then,” said Tejaswini Shinde.

Added Shipra Megotia; “I used to learn simple dishes from my grandmother when I was a child. I still adore the memories by cooking those dishes for my grandmother now.”
Of course, spending time together is not only about learning but also communicating, which increases bonding. However, of late, some problems of ‘adjustments’ are creeping in. This, sometimes, results in grandparents finding solace in old-age homes.

Dr Anil Jain, Director of Golden Blissful Paradise, said that if a family -- at any point -- thinks that the senior members are ‘a liability’, let them take a break for a few days. “Instead of correcting them with words, just let them realise the emptiness in life because of the absence of an individual. This results in strong realisation in most of the cases, and it works both ways. Such a break results in better understanding between senior members and youngsters in a family, and helps in maintaining the dignity of grandparents,” he elaborated.

But, in many families, like that of young Pulkit Binzani, grandparents hold a special place in home. “Earlier, when I was a child, they tackled my obstinate behaviour. Now, I feel, it is time for me to keep them engaged with happiness and comfort them during their ageing. I will never step back from giving them happiness, and no one should,” he smiled.
It is all about communication and spreading happiness. After all, with grandparents, life becomes a blend of love, care, joy and a story of hope and a stronger family bonding. Let us celebrate this Grandparents’ Day with a stronger bond by enhancing communication with them.